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

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Manchester University Press, 2007 - Art - 228 pages
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J.M.W. Turner is commonly held to have prefigured modern painting. Our celebration of his achievement--signaled in the existence of The Turner Prize for contemporary art--is very different to what Victorian critics made of his art. This book shows how Turner was reinvented to become the artist we recognize 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 whole scale 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.

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About the author (2007)

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

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