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J. M. W. Turner

(1775—1851) landscape and history painter


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(1775–1851),

major English landscape painter, whose mature works convey a profoundly Romantic vision of the magnificence of nature and the violence of the elements. His works were frequently inspired by poetry, and many of his paintings were accompanied by quotations (notably from James Thomson); he also wrote poems himself, beside the drawings in his sketch‐books, and to accompany his larger works. In the 1830s Turner did many designs for book illustrations, amongst them charming and highly successful vignettes for Rogers's Italy (1830) and Poems (1834). He also illustrated works by Milton, Byron, Sir W. Scott, and T. Campbell. His great works exerted a major influence on the Romantic imagination (see Romanticism), and he was passionately admired by Ruskin, who devoted the first volume of Modern Painters (1843) to his defence.


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