Meet J.M.W Turner (the J.M.W stands for Joseph Mallord William by the way), he was born in London in 1775, his dad was a barber and many people consider him the first modern painter! The art critic, John Ruskin said he was ‘the greatest of the age’. Let’s see what you think!
Turner was a landscape painter, traveller, poet and teacher. When he was just fourteen years old he became a student at the Royal Academy of Art in London.
He painted great moments in history and fantastic stories, which often challenged the styles of older painters. Turner was known as “the painter of light”. Lots of Turner’s paintings are romantic and dream-like. Many of Turner’s later artworks resemble the Impressionist style of painting which happened in France in the years to come. Can you see how they are similar?
He also made dark, epic paintings, which had great atmosphere, like the below artwork Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps. Do you prefer his light or dark paintings?
Even when he was older, Turner was a radical artist. He painted scenes which commented on the government at the time. He also painted new industries and technology, like ships and trains.
What do you think he would paint today to show new technology?
Turner still inspires modern artists. Olafur Eliasson has recently made Turner Colour Experiments which look at the colour and atmosphere in Turner’s paintings. This one is inspired by one of Turner’s first oil paintings, Fishermen at Sea. Can you see the similar colours in both of them? Which one do you prefer? Do they both make you feel the same?
We are very excited about our new Turner exhibition which opened yesterday at Tate Britain. We have a Discovering Turner game, a Turner Tate Tales and a Tate Create, all just a click away to make your own great Turner-inspired creations. We just think Turner is great! What do you think?