Turner, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In this absorbing analysis of the life and art of J M W Turner (1775-1851), Barry Venning argues that it is necessary to look at Turner's work in its original contexts in order to understand thoroughly the painter's creative decisions.

His early career was dominated by the Napoleonic Wars, and on his extensive travels he witnessed far-reaching transformations in social, economic and political life.

Industrialization, agrarian change and constitutional reform are all represented in his work, but he also made a lifelong study of natural forms and phenomena, all of which gave rise to paintings that are as rich in layers of meaning as they are in visual effects.

Venning covers all aspects of the artist's career, concluding with a vigorously fresh look at Turner's artistic legacy.




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This is a really nice book on the works of J. M. W. Turner which I picked up while over in England a few weeks ago and was the best looking one I saw. Thankfully it also lived up to its expectations as Venning is quite good at explaining why Turner painted many of his paintings, what they meant, and what they meant in the context of the early to mid-nineteenth century. Included in the book are about two hundred illustrations, but only the most important of Turner's works at quite large - Hannibal Crossing the Alps, Slaveship, Rain, Steam, and Speed, etc - the rest are rather smaller but still are presented nicely.For a rank art amateur that I am it was a nice introduction to the works of Turner and is highly recommended.

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