Turner’s lifetime (1775-1851) was also the classic age of English watercolour, and his mastery and perfection of the medium coincided with its establishment as an independent art form. This volume examines the unique body of watercolours Turner produced.
Few can doubt that J.M.W. Turner was the greatest exponent of English watercolour in its golden age. An inveterate traveller in search of the ideal vista, he rarely left home without a rolled up, loosebound sketchbook, pencils and a small travelling case of watercolours in his pocket. He exploited as no one before him the medium’s luminosity and transparency, conjuring light effects on English meadows and Venetian lagoons and gauzy mists over mountains and lakes. Extraordinary in his own time, he has continued to thrill his countless admirers since.
David Blayney Brown, one of the world’s leading experts on Turner, reveals the role watercolours played in Turner’s life and work, from those he sent for exhibition to the Royal Academy to the private outpourings in which he compulsively experimented with light and colour, which for a modern audience are among his most radical and accomplished works.