Turner

Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner was a Londoner through and through. His father had a barber's shop in Covent Garden, his mother came from a line of London butchers. He was brought up in Maiden Lane (the family moving at some point from the south side of the street to the north side). He was short and pugnacious, and as Peter Ackroyd writes: 'His speech was recognizably that of a Cockney, and his language was the language of the streets.'His language was also the language of light, as exemplified in his most innovative paintings, which caused the critics of the day to come to blows. . His dying words were: 'The Sun is God.' He entered the Royal Academy at 14 and a year later was exhibiting. His first loves were architecture, engraving and watercolours, and the country houses, cathedrals and landscape of England; he came to oils through his new passion for Italy. He was mean with money, never married, and spent a lot of his life living in taverns. When he died (within sight of his beloved Thames) he was living under the name of Booth in the Chelsea lodgings of one of his mistresses, a Mrs Booth

Title:Turner
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780701169879
Format Type:

    Turner Reviews

  • Jasmine

    'Dido Building Carthage', exhibited at the Academy in 1815. Turner regarded this as his masterpiece and is reputed to have turned down 5000 guineas for it; it was still in his studio at the time of hi...

  • Christine

    Not Ackroyd's best brief life, to be honest. I didn't get much of a feeling for Turner after reading this....

  • F.J. Commelin

    I had this short biography already at home and after seen the recent movie about Turner i wanted to know more about fact and fiction.I was surprised by how many little things mentioned in this short b...

  • Ruth

    This really is quite bad. A 'brief life' like this should be a little jewel of a book, instead this reads like a turgid Wikipedia entry. It's sloppily written, or at least edited. People are referred ...

  • Kari Trenten

    A compressed, yet rich account of J.M.W. Turner’s life, art, and inclinations in pursuing his dreams. This particular volume focused on Turner’s passion for light and how it inspired him in his wo...

  • Gerry

    A brief, but in typical Ackroyd style, informative biography of Billy (surely not! - Joseph Mallord William is much more fitting) Turner who as well as being a great artist and much sought after in hi...

  • Donald

    I read this book, from the public library after seeing the file 'Mr Turner'. It is a relatively short book, easy to read, and I enjoyed it. I would have liked more illustrations, but it is after all q...

  • Dot

    Pretty dry reading, lost interest half-way through....

  • Amy Jane

    Turner's life is worthy of an enormous biography. Unfortunately, as I needed something to read for quick research purposes I didn't have time for anything too detailed. Ackroyd manages to fit everythi...

  • Cynthia Grove

    Turner is my favourite artist so the subject matter was bound to be pleasing to me. This book is one of a series "Brief Lives" so short and succinct.The author's style doesn't appeal to me. I can't pu...