Revised for 2019, in this extensive and illuminating introduction to the unique body of watercolours Turner produced, acclaimed expert David Blayney Brown provides context to the watercolours and a background to the Tate’s unrivalled collection of Turner’s works.
Few can doubt that J.M.W. Turner was the greatest exponent of English watercolour in its golden age. An inveterate traveller in search of the ideal vista, he rarely left home without a rolled up, loose-bound sketchbook, pencils and a small travelling case of watercolours in his pocket. He exploited as no one before him the medium’s luminosity and transparency, conjuring light effects on English meadows and Venetian lagoons and gauzy mists over mountains and lakes. Extraordinary in his own time, he has continued to thrill his countless admirers since.
David Blayney Brown reveals the role watercolours played in Turner’s life and work, from those he sent for exhibition to the Royal Academy to the private outpourings in which he compulsively experimented with light and colour, which for a modern audience are among his most radical and accomplished works.
David Blayney Brown is Senior Curator, British Art 1790–1850 at Tate and is responsible for the Turner Collection. His books include Turner and Byron, Turner in the Alps, The ‘Lucerne’ Sketchbook, and Romanticism.
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