J.M.W. Turner Introduction (00:57)
Some regard J.M.W. Turner as Britain's greatest artist. He revolutionized landscape painting, causing an outrage in the 19th century.
Childhood and Education (02:06)
Turner was born in London in 1775; he escaped poverty by drawing. Turner entered the Royal Academy of Arts at 14, learning technical and intellectual artistic skills.
"The Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth" (01:05)
Turner developed a passion for landscapes and became a skilled water colorist; view a 1790 work. His engravings were published as prints in travel guides.
Water Color Production (01:25)
Although the Academy preferred oil, synthetic color production increased artistic palates in the 18th century. Learn how Turner experimented with new shades.
"Fishermen at Sea" (01:27)
Turner traveled around England, sketching landscapes. His first major oil painting was exhibited at the Academy in 1796; Tim Marlow analyzes technique and composition.
Marlow discusses technique and man vs. nature themes in Turner's 1805 painting. Over the next 50 years, he showed an oil work in every Academy exhibition.
International Exposure (01:41)
At 26, Turner was elected to the Royal Academy. In 1802, he traveled to France and Switzerland, sketching Alpine landscapes and visiting the Louvre where he was inspired by Claude Lorrain's works.
"Snowstorm, Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps" (01:28)
Turner combined landscapes with history painting in his 1812 oil work.
"Dido Building Carthage" (01:39)
Marlow discusses Lorrain's influence in Turner's 1815 history painting.
"Bridge of Sighs" (01:54)
Turner traveled to Italy in 1819 and 1832, captivated by Venice scenery. View his painting depicting Canaletto among the city's iconic architecture.
"Burning of Houses of Parliament" (01:17)
Turner chronicled London events such as the Parliamentary fire. He turned his sketches into paintings that were criticized for appearing unfinished.
"Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbor’s Mouth" (02:25)
Turner became anti-social as he grew older. His radical abstract technique was criticized in an 1842 oil painting that conveys the power of nature.
"Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway" (01:50)
Marlow discusses the relationship between nature and industrial progress in Turner's 1843 work.
"Norham Castle, Sunrise" (01:59)
Turner continued experimenting with abstraction until his death in 1851. Learn how he established himself as the greatest British landscape artist—ahead of his time.
Credits: Turner: Great Artists (Series 1) (00:30)
Credits: Turner: Great Artists (Series 1)
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