Painting With The Girls 70
March 10, 2016.
Day 70 (296 days to go)
J. M. W. Turner (1776- 1851) was an English painter known for his landscapes and beloved by his viewers during and after his lifetime.
His father was his biggest fan. When he realized his son was a genius, he abandoned his profession as a barber and dedicated the rest of his life to helping Turner at his studio and private gallery.
E. H. Gombrich writes in The Story of Art, “Turner was obsessed with the problem of tradition. He crowded into his pictures every effect which could make them more striking and more dramatic.”
Turner was very well read and agreed with Goethe’s special observations of light and object that we don’t see form, but rather the light that falls onto it. He took this to heart into his paintings. He abandoned the Old Master’s traditional style and painted light and it’s effects on objects.
In 1819, Turner spent four months in Italy and filled nineteen sketchbooks with tiny drawings. Paul Johnson writes in Art: A New History, “None of these studies were seen by anyone else for many years, or even developed by Turner into finished paintings. But they marked the point at which he applied Goethe’s discovery to the full, and he never looked back thereafter.”
Nobody knows for sure how many paintings Turner painted in his lifetime. He is believed to have produced around 900 oil paintings and 20,000 drawings, mostly watercolors, in his 70 years of work.