Standing in the Sun, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Joseph Mallord William Turner is arguably Britain's greatest and most mysterious painter, whose range of work encompasses seascape and landscape, immensely powerful oil paintings and intimate watercolours.

His friend and colleague C.R. Leslie remembered him thus: 'Turner was short and stout, and had a sturdy, sailor-like walk.

He might be taken for the captain of a river steamboat at first glance; but a second would find more in his face than belongs in any ordinary mind.

There was that peculiar keenness of expression in his eye that is only seen in men of constant habits of observation'. The son of a Covent garden barber and a woman who died in Bethlehem Hospital, Turner achieved fame and fortune during his lifetime.

Although he possessed a wide-ranging imagination, he was an often incoherent speaker and writer, and his muddled will produced much discord - it is a wonder that, despite avaricious relatives and incompetent lawyers, so many of his works are now in the hands of the nation, and publicly proclaim his genius. In this previously unavailable biography, Anthony Bailey has drawn upon archival material, scholarly literature and research, as well as studying many of Turner's sketchbooks, paintings and watercolours.

Uncovering fresh material, as well as pulling together previously known facts, Bailey sheds new light on this complicated and secretive artistic figure.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 504 pages, 16 black and white
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Art & design styles: Romanticism
  • ISBN: 9781849761925

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Fascinating & lively. His eccentricities and genius come across strongly.particularly vivid after njust seeing the film by mike Leigh. Was reading at same time " Rembrandt's house by same author which failed altogether for me. Is there more info about Turner? Is he nearer in time and temperament? Is it Turner'Englishness that is more accessible? Or did the author simply do better or get more inspired?

Review by

a very detailed biography of a painter that was in many ways ahead of his time. turner was a very complex man at times warm and other times crumply i wonder how much his work influenced the impressionist much of his art was a preview of what was to come. turner still did historical work but his work was light and color was and is amazioning

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