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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner (born in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covent_Garden» \o «Covent Garden» Covent
Garden , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London» \o «London»
London on HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_23» \o «April
23» April 23 , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1775» \o
«1775» 1775 (exact date disputed), died HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_19» \o «December 19» December 19
, HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1851» \o «1851» 1851 ) was
an HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England» \o «England»
English HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism» \o
«Romanticism» Romantic landscape artist, whose style can be said to
lay the foundations for HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism» \o «Impressionism»
Impressionism .

Life and career

His father, William Turner, was a wig-maker who later became a barber.
His mother, Mary Marshall, a housewife, became increasingly mentally
unstable during his early years, perhaps in part due to the early death
of Turner’s younger sister in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1786» \o «1786» 1786 . She died in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1804» \o «1804» 1804 , having
been committed to a HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_asylum» \o «Mental asylum» mental
asylum .

Possibly due to the load placed on the family by these problems, the
young Turner was sent in HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1785»
\o «1785» 1785 to stay with his uncle on his mother’s side in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brentford» \o «Brentford»
Brentford , which was then a small town west of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London» \o «London» London on the banks
of the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Thames» \o «River
Thames» Thames . It was here that he first expressed an interest in
painting. A year later he went to school in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margate» \o «Margate» Margate in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent» \o «Kent» Kent to the
east of London in the area of the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_estuary» \o «Thames estuary»
Thames estuary . At this time he had been creating many paintings, which
his father exhibited in his shop window.

He was accepted into the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Academy» \o «Royal Academy» Royal
Academy of Art when he was only 15 years old. Turner was interested in
being a part of the Royal Academy of Art unlike some of his
contemporaries. At first Turner showed a keen interest in architecture
but was advised to keep to painting by the architect HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hardwick» \o «Thomas Hardwick»
Thomas Hardwick (junior) . HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Joshua_Reynolds» \o «Sir Joshua
Reynolds» Sir Joshua Reynolds , the president of the Royal Academy at
that time, chaired the panel that admitted him. A HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watercolor_painting» \o «Watercolor
painting» watercolour of his was accepted for the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Academy_summer_exhibition» \o «Royal
Academy summer exhibition» Summer Exhibition of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1790» \o «1790» 1790 after only one
year’s study. He exhibited his first HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_painting» \o «Oil painting» oil
painting in HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1796» \o «1796»
1796 . Throughout the rest of his life, he regularly exhibited at the
academy.

The fighting HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Temeraire_%281798%29» \o «HMS
Temeraire (1798)» Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up,

painted HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1839» \o «1839» 1839
.

He is commonly known as «the painter of light». Although renowned for
his oils, Turner is also regarded as one of the founders of English
watercolour landscape painting.

One of his most famous oil paintings is HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fighting_Temeraire» \o «The Fighting
Temeraire» The fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken
up , painted in HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1839» \o
«1839» 1839 , which hangs in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Gallery%2C_London» \o «National
Gallery, London» National Gallery, London . See also HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough» \o «The Golden Bough»
The Golden Bough .

Turner travelled widely in Europe, starting with HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France» \o «France» France and
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland» \o «Switzerland»
Switzerland in HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1802» \o
«1802» 1802 and studying in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvre» \o «Louvre» Louvre in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris» \o «Paris» Paris in the
same year. He also made many visits to HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice» \o «Venice» Venice during his
lifetime. He never married, although he had a mistress, Sarah Danby, by
whom he had two daughters.

As he grew older, Turner became more eccentric. He had few close
friends, except for his father, who lived with him for thirty years,
eventually working as his studio assistant. His father died in
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1829» \o «1829» 1829 , which
had a profound effect on him, and thereafter he was subject to bouts of
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression» \o
«Clinical depression» depression .

Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway painted (1844).

He died in his house in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheyne_Walk» \o «Cheyne Walk» Cheyne Walk
, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea%2C_London%2C_England» \o «Chelsea,
London, England» Chelsea on HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_19» \o «December 19» 19 December
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1851» \o «1851» 1851 . At
his request he was buried in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul%27s_Cathedral» \o «St Paul’s
Cathedral» St Paul’s Cathedral , where he lies next to Sir Joshua
Reynolds. His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1850» \o «1850» 1850 .

Style

Turner’s talent was recognized early in his life, becoming a full art
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academician» \o «Academician»
academician at the age of 23. Financial independence allowed Turner to
innovate and create paintings that astonished many. According to David
Piper’s The Illustrated History of Art, his later pictures were called
«fantastic puzzles.» However, Turner was still recognized as an artistic
genius: influential English art critic HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ruskin» \o «John Ruskin» John Ruskin
described Turner as the artist who could most «stirringly and
truthfully measure the moods of Nature.» (Piper 321)

Turner is a romantic painter interested in the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublime_%28philosophy%29» \o «Sublime
(philosophy)» Sublime ; he portrays the awesome, untamed power of
Nature towards mankind. The subject of shipwrecks, fires or natural
catastrophes as well as natural phenomena (like sunlight, storm, rain,
fog) is a statement of the smallness of mankind towards Nature. In his
paintings humans are depicted as mere peons of Nature. Like most
Romanticists, Nature (landscape) is a reflection of the own?s soul or
mood. He focused on the violent power of the sea, as seen in Dawn after
the Wreck (1840) and The Slave-Ship (1840).

His first works, such as Tintern Abbey (1795) and Venice: S. Giorgio
Maggiore (1819), stayed true to the traditions of English landscape.
However, in Hannibal Crossing the Alps (1812), his emphasis on the
destructive power of nature had already come into play. Turner perfected
his technique to develop the theme through his years. His distinctive
style of painting, in which he used watercolor technique with oil
paints, created lightness, fluency, and disappearing atmospheric
effects. (Piper 321)

In his late years, he used oils even less, and turned to almost pure
light with shimmering color. Examples of his later style can be seen in
Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway, where the objects are
barely recognizable.

Turner, along with HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Constable» \o «John Constable» John
Constable , was at the forefront of English painting by his later years,
and both were popular in France as well. Impressionists carefully
studied his techniques, although they sought to diminish the power of
his paintings. In the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_art» \o «Modern art» modern art
era, advocates of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_art» \o «Abstract art» abstract
art were also influenced by Turner.

Legacy

Turner left a large fortune which he hoped would be used to support what
he called «decayed artists». His collection of finished paintings was
bequeathed to the British nation, and he intended that a special gallery
would be built to house them. This did not come to pass owing to a
failure to agree where to site it and then to the parsimony of British
governments. Twenty two years after his death, the British Parliament
passed an Act allowing his paintings to be lent to museums outside
London, and so began the process of scattering his pictures, which
Turner had wanted to be kept together. A prestigious annual art award,
the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_Prize» \o «Turner
Prize» Turner Prize , created in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984» \o «1984» 1984 , was named in
Turner’s honour, but has become increasingly controversial, having
promoted art which has no apparent connection with Turner’s.

A major exhibition, «Turner’s Britain» , with material, (including The
Fighting Temeraire) on loan from around the globe, was held at
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_7» \o «November 7» 7 November
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003» \o «2003» 2003 to
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_8» \o «February 8» 8
February HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004» \o «2004»
2004 .

In 2005 Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire was voted Britain’s «greatest
painting» in a public poll organized by the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC» \o «BBC» BBC .

Selected works

1799 — Warkworth Castle, Northumberland — Thunder Storm Approaching at
Sun-Set, oil on canvas — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_and_Albert_Museum» \o «Victoria
and Albert Museum» Victoria and Albert Museum , London

1806 — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Turner%2C_The_Battle_of_Trafalgar_%2
81806%29.jpg» \o «Image:Turner, The Battle of Trafalgar (1806).jpg» The
Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the
Victory , oil on canvas — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tate_Gallery» \o «Tate Gallery» Tate
Gallery , London

1812 — Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, oil on
canvas, Tate Gallery, London

1822 — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_Trafalgar_%28painting%29» \o
«The Battle of Trafalgar (painting)» The Battle of Trafalgar , oil on
canvas, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Maritime_Museum» \o «National
Maritime Museum» National Maritime Museum , HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich» \o «Greenwich» Greenwich ,
London

1835 — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Turner-The_Burning_of_the_Houses_of_
Lords_and_Commons.jpg» \o «Image:Turner-The Burning of the Houses of
Lords and Commons.jpg» The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons ,
oil on canvas, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Museum_of_Art» \o
«Philadelphia Museum of Art» Philadelphia Museum of Art , Philadelphia

1835 — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Turner.grandcanal.750pix.jpg» \o
«Image:Turner.grandcanal.750pix.jpg» The Grand Canal, Venice , oil on
canvas, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art» \o
«Metropolitan Museum of Art» Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York

1838 — HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Turner%2C_The_fighting_Temeraire.jpg
» \o «Image:Turner, The fighting Temeraire.jpg» The Fighting Temeraire
Tugged to Her Last Berth to Be Broken up , oil on canvas, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Gallery%2C_London» \o «National
Gallery, London» National Gallery , London

1840 — Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying,
Typhoon Coming On), oil on canvas, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Fine_Arts%2C_Boston» \o «Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston» Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1842 — Fishing Boats with Hucksters Bargaining for Fish, oil on canvas,
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

1844 — Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway, oil on canvas,
National Gallery, London

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