Joseph Mallord William Turner (Covent Garden 1775 - London 1851) was a British Romantic painter and printmaker. Important artistic influences upon Turner during the 1790's were Thomas Gainsborough, Michael Angelo Rooker, Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, Henry Fuseli and Richard Wilson.  In 1802, when he was only 26, he became a full member of the Royal Academy, the youngest member ever so admitted. He traveled constantly in England and abroad (Venice). A prolific artist, Turner produced over 550 oil paintings, over 2,000 highly detailed and finely finished watercolours, and some 30,000 works on paper. 
Turner is perhaps the most famous English Romantic landscape artist. He became known as "the painter of light", perhaps inspired by the 'year without a summer', and the amazing sunsets that resulted from it.  The Shipwreck, (1805)  shows his emphasis on luminosity, and dramatic subjects. He is considered not only Britain's greatest painter but arguably the finest landscape and marine painter ever. 
From 1807 he published a series of landscape prints known as the Liber Studiorum ('Book of Studies'), which demonstrated his abilities in every area of landscape art. 
There are many aspects of Turner's art that can displease — his clumsily drawn and sometimes ludicrously posed landscape figures... but he remains a giant in the watercolor tradition for his incredibly innovative technique and his increasing fascination with light and atmosphere as the fundamental subject of a painting. Turner's impact on Victorian art was stupendous.  Turner anticipated French Impressionism.
"The father of modern art", John Ruskin, 1843
Shipweck of the Minotaur, ca. 1810
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