Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775-1851, born the son of a London Barber and Wigmaker, is considered one of the greatest European artists of the 19th century. Turner, the English romantic landscape painter, watercolourists and printmaker, was regarded as a controversial and revolutionary figure by his contemporaries despite his training being similar to other artists of the time. His work ‘Walton Bridge’, Oil on Canvas 1806-10, reflects much of his training as a young artists as well as his well-known Romantic style. In this essay I will follow the beginnings of Turners artistic life, showing how his influences, training and opinions surrounding landscape painting have influenced his work ‘Walton Bridge.’ I will further explore how art critics, fellow artists and the wider public of the 19th Century received ‘Walton Bridge’ and his Landscape paintings in general.
Beginning his career as an artist early in life, Turners father provided his young son his first exhibition space, hanging and selling Turners works in the family Barbershop. Turners’ early experiences in art were limited and largely self-taught until entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1789 at the age of 14. From 1790 onwards Turner was heavily influences by architectural draftsman and teacher of perspective, Thomas Malton, a man Turner described as his ‘real master.’ The influence of Malton is clear in Turners superb architectural renderings that frequent his landscapes, being praised by the London Times of the 3rd of May 1797 for his ‘exquisite architectural views. ’
The influential English art critic and defender of Turners artistic style, John Ruskin, described Turner as being able to ‘stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of nature. ’ Despite many o...
... middle of paper ...
Smiles, 1990, ‘Splashes,’ Scrawlers’ and Plasterers,’ British Landscape Painting and the Language of Criticism 1800-40’ in Turner Studies: His Art and Epoch 1775-1851, Vol. 10 No. 1 Summer 1990.
Smiles, 2000, ‘J.M.W Turner,’ Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2000.
Reynolds, 1969, ‘Turner,’ Harry N. Abrams inc. Publishers, New York, 1969.
Roberts 2011, The Unknown Turner, The Tate Gallery Publishing’s, 2011.
Walker, 1983, ‘Turner,’ Harry N. Abrams, inc. Publishers, New York, 1983.
Wilkinson, 1982, ‘Turner on Landscape: The Liber Studiorum,’ Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1982.
Wilton, 2001, ‘Five Centuries of British Painting, From Holbein to Hodgkin,’ Thames and Hudson, London, 2001.
Wilton, 1976, ‘Turner at the Fitzwilliam Museum,’ in J.M.W Turner RA, 1775-1851, Exhibition Catelogue by Malcolm Cormack, Master Drawings Vol.14 No.3 Autumn 1976.