Turner

Series: Art & Ideas

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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.