Turner, Joseph Mallord William RA (1775-1851)

A-Z of Artists >

26 works

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on the 23rd of April 1775. He was apprenticed at an early age as a topographical draftsman colouring in watercolours of notable artists of the time such as Michelangelo, Rooker, and Edward Dayes. He began his training at the Royal Academy schools at the age of sixteen and became an associate royal academician at the earliest possible age. He went on to receive further training with Doctor Monreau at his academy in the Adelphi. Turner was a child prodigy, his father a wig maker and barber from Covent Garden would display his pictures in the window of his shop. Turner became a Royal Academician in 1798 and regarded the academy as a surrogate family throughout his life. In time he exhibited his paintings at the annual summer exhibition. Though regarded as somewhat course and having retained a marked Cockney accent, his talent was undeniable. Throughout the 1790s he was commissioned by a number of aristocrats to draw watercolours of their estates. He unbanded creativity especially in the field of watercolour led him to become the most foremost landscape and seascape painter of the age.