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Joseph Mallord William Turner - 1775-1851

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Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on 23 April 1775 in Covent Garden, London.

Turner, more generally known as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist.

Throughout his life, Turner was not only a great landscape painter but he enjoyed poetry, from the classics to the work of poets of his own time, and strove to write poetry himself.

In his own words 'painting and poetry reflect each other's beauties'.

As early as 1801, Turner was to find inspiration in the dramatic landscape of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.

Turner drew several sketches of Beeston Castle within his sketchbook.

His sketchbook was later bequeathed to the nation.

The sketchbook was obviously the preparatory work for the scene which included Beeston Castle (lower right) and which was painted some years later.

Tate Britain holds many of Turner's paintings relating to :

  • landscape and history
  • seascapes and
  • urban landscapes

We include a self portrait and the landscape painting which includes Beeston Castle.

The only photographic portrait of JMW Turner is dated 1847.

Previously held in private collections, the photograph of Turner was taken by Lancashire-born photographer John Jabez Edwin Mayall, who took the first carte-de-visite photographs of Queen Victoria in 1860.

The photograph went on public display in London in 2017.

The unique daguerreotype – the first publicly available photographic process which produced a holographic effect – is the only known photographic portrait of the painter.

Turner died on 19 December 1851 at Cheyne Walk, London.

Click on images to enlarge.

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