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Happy Birthday… William Turner

April 23, 2011

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on 23rd april in 1775 in London. He was a Romantic landscape painter, working with oil and watercolors and is known as “the painter of light”. His way of catching light was an important source of inspiration for the Impressionist painters of the later years.

Only 14 years old Turner went to the Royal Academy of Art schools and was accepted into the academy only one year later. One of his watercolor paintings was part of an exhibition another year later and he exhibited his first oil painting in 1796. Financial independenceny allowed Turner to travel a lot and to innovate and develop his style freely. He died on 19th december 1851 in London and left more than 20.000 artworks. To learn more about William Turner please take a look at Wikipedia and visit your local bookstore or library.

For the first time I saw Turner in The National Gallery in London several years ago, and I remember that I almost couldn’t step away. I was fascinated by the use of color to create an atmosphere which seems to drag you into the painted scene. I like that he did not try to make accurate reproductions of a certain landscape, but made changes, e.g. to the height of mountains, to create exact the kind of landscape he wanted.

That’s what I want to be able to do one day, create paintings which such a fascinating atmosphere and such a use of colors. Here are some of my personal favourites. On http://www.william-turner.org/ you will find several of Turner’s artworks.

William Turner West Cowes

William Turner Mere de Glace - In the Valley of Chamouni

William Turner Refectory of Kirkstall Abbey

William Turner The Fighting Téméraire - tugged to her last Berth to be broken up

William Turner The Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute

William Turner The Morning after the Wreck

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