Being an innovator in the most conservative state in Europe is not easy. William Turner succeeded ...
April 23, 1775 the son of William was born in the family of the London barber Turner. The boy’s childhood was not happy, the mother’s mental illness was to blame. By nature, William was taciturn, even reserved. A close person for him was only his father, who did not cherish a soul in his son and actively supported him in all his creative endeavors.
The Turner Bar is located in the heart of commercial London, in the Covent Garden quarter. From childhood, William fell in love with drawing and used every opportunity to escape to the banks of the Thames and do what he liked. The father of the young artist chose the best watercolors from his son’s works, put them in a frame and hung on the walls of his establishment. Customers often turned to the owner of the barber shop with a request to sell some of the work that Turner the father did, praising his son for replenishing the family budget.
Among Turner's clients were professional artists who sincerely became interested in the works of young talent. It was on the recommendation of famous painters that the son of the barber William Turner was admitted to the Royal Academy, he was then 14 years old, and the great Reynolds became his teacher.
Only one year passed, and one of Turner's watercolors was included in the exposition of the Academy's annual exhibition. In the history of the stiff and so dependent on all sorts of traditions of England, it has never happened before that a 15-year-old artist took part in such a solid exhibition ...
The popularity of the young artist grew rapidly. His manner, developed under the influence of the French masters of romanticism, was liked by the British. Turner soon became financially independent of his father and moved to a prestigious area of the city. In 1802, the 27-year-old artist became the youngest academic in the history of England. Now he could exhibit his work without prior coordination with the commission, and became creatively completely free.
Turner was a multi-faceted and thorough master. To learn how to more accurately convey the movement of water and air on canvas, he seriously studies physical laws, attends lectures on natural sciences. Gradually, his work becomes more revolutionary and goes against fashion.
Thanks to the support of patrons, Turner goes to Continent to improve his skills. From this trip, the master brings a number of paintings that are considered masterpieces of his work. Criticism is choked with enthusiasm. One of the theorists even compares it with Rembrandt, which is the highest praise for the artist.
Turner in his work seeks to convey the poetry and variability of wildlife, gradually ceasing to pay attention to detail, and also choosing an increasingly contrasting combination of colors. Such liberty and emotionality is less and less popular with the public, accustomed to the photographic accuracy of the painters, the sentimental sweetness of the work and the faded harmonious color scheme. The more abstract the master’s works became, the more critically the society perceived his new works. It all ended with the fact that the public began to consider the master is not completely mentally healthy.
Queen Victoria rejected the idea of the art community about granting the son of a barber a knighthood. The artist more and more closed in himself and often disappeared in a small apartment, which he bought for one of his women.
December 19, 1851 the artist died in the arms of his doctor. For a long time, his later work remained forgotten and underestimated.
It was only by the beginning of the 20th century that it became clear that impressionism had its roots not in the work of the artists of the Barbizon school, but in the work of the English artist William Turner, the son of the London barber.