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Artists Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

British Painter

Joseph Mallord William Turner Photo
Movements and Styles: Romanticism, Realism

Born: April 23, 1775 - Covent Garden, London, England

Died: December 19, 1851 - Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, England

"My job is to draw what I see, not what I know."

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Turner took classical genres and scenes - the stately landscape in well-designed compositions and historical events writ large - and infused them with a new dynamic in painting. He reflected on the increasing importance of individual experience in the era of the Enlightenment, where the perceptions of human beings led to exalted personal moments and sublime interactions with nature. Through this dedication to rendering heightened states of consciousness and being, he helped define the cross-disciplinary artistic movement of Romanticism, setting the stage for later developments in painting subjective experiences that would lead to Impressionism. In some of his later works especially, Turner responded to the arrival of the modern era by making the contraptions of human invention powerfully, sometimes threateningly present.

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