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JMW Turner - cover

JMW Turner

Eric Shanes

Publisher: Parkstone International

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Summary

J.M.W. Turner is without a doubt the greatest painter of landscapes and seascapes of all time. His production was prodigious: some 550 oil paintings, more than 2,000 extremely detailed and refined watercolours and nearly 20,000 studies, sketches and watercolour sketches. He excelled in all forms of painting: landscapes or seascapes, elaborate historical representations or classical scenes, miniature and watercolours of scenes of daily life on land and on sea, destined to be reproduced in engravings. The ensemble of Turner’s artwork evokes a particularly rich and dramatic sensibility, an interest for the complexities of life, an unequalled approach of the size and scale of nature, and a profound curiosity to discover what is under the surface – that which the painter calls the intrinsic “qualities and causes” of things. This curiosity leads Turner to explore the universal principles of architecture – whether it is born from nature or by man’s hand −, of light, of meteorology as well as of the dynamic of waves. He was a talented and extremely sophisticated colourist, becoming one of the best in European painting, and without a doubt the most skilled painter in conveying subtleties and nuances. His works, particularly his last works, reflect his projection of an ideal world of colours, forms and impressions.

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