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J. M. W. Turner

British Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker
Self portrait, oil on canvas, c. 1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (baptised 14 May 177519 December 1851) was a British Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

Quotes of TurnerEdit

  • To select, combine and concentrate that which is beautiful in nature and admirable in art is as much the business of the landscape painter in his line as in the other departments of art.
    • Turner (around 1810); as quoted in: Dennis Hugh Halloran (1970) The Classical Landscape Paintings of J.M.W. Turner. p. 75
  • It is necessary to mark the greater from the lesser truth: namely the larger and more liberal idea of nature from the comparatively narrow and confined; namely that which addresses itself to the imagination from that which is solely addressed to the eye.
    • Quoted in: Eric Shanes (2012) The Life and Masterworks of J.M.W. Turner, p. 23
  • If I could find anything blacker than black I'd use it.
    • Turner, quoted in: Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1879) The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R. A. p. 296
    • Reply after the prominent English marine painter Clarkson Stanfield had complained, that Turner in the painting Peace - Burial at Sea had painted the sails in the steamer as black as he could make them.
  • My business is to paint what I see, not what I know is there.
    • Turner, quoted in: Donald B. MacCulloch (1927) The Wondrous Isle of Staffa, p. 160
    • Alternative quote:
      My job is to paint what I see, not what I know
      • As quoted in: George Seferis (1999) A Poet's Journal: Days of 1945-1951. p. 105

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