J. M. W. Turner

J. M. W. Turner : The Making of a Modern Artist

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Alone of his contemporaries, J.M.W. Turner is commonly held to have prefigured modern painting, as signalled in the existence of The Turner Prize for contemporary art. Our celebration of his achievement is very different to what Victorian critics made of his art. This book shows how Turner was reinvented to become the artist we recognise today. On Turner's death in 1851 he was already known as an adventurous, even baffling, painter. But when the Court of Chancery decreed that the contents of his studio should be given to the nation, another side of his art was revealed that effected a wholescale change in his reputation. This book acts as a guide to the reactions of art writers and curators from the 1850s to the 1960s as they attempted to come to terms with his work. It documents how Turner was interpreted and how his work was displayed in Britain, in Europe and in North America, concentrating on the ways in which his artistic identity was manipulated by art writers, by curators at the Tate and by designers of exhibitions for the British Council and other bodies.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 168 x 240 x 22mm | 739.35g
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 39 black & white illustrations
  • 0719077087
  • 9780719077081
  • 914,485

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Review quote

"This book offers an important contribution to Turner scholarship. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging book to read." Professor David Hill, University of Leeds"

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About Sam Smiles

Sam Smiles is Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth

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