Happy Birthday, Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Battle of Trafalgar

Happy Birthday, Joseph Mallord William Turner (April 23, 1775 – December 19, 1851)

A controversial artist during his time, J.M.W. Turner was ridiculed by his critics. Nevertheless, he became known as the person who championed landscape painting. He gave the world 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 paper works.

The critics have been silenced!

For more information check out the Tate Gallery in London.



Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

22 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Joseph Mallord William Turner

  1. If you haven’t yet seen it the film ‘Mr Turner’ is something I suspect you would like. As well as an interesting subject it has a distinctive style; a sort of filmic equivalent of slow cooking…


    1. I just saw the trailer a few weeks ago and added it to my bucket list of “must see” movies. There is so much to art and creative thought that are wrapped up in the final outcome – I have much to learn. Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue. 🙂


  2. Turner is one of my favourite artists – that said i didn’t study art at school so was unaware that he wasn’t popular in his day. Probably like Jack Vettriano who is seen as populist.


    1. Jack Vettriano is brilliant with his umbrellas, dancers etc! I understand he lives in London but was originally from Scotland. And speaking of Scotland, the Kelpies in Falkirk are on my bucket list! 🙂


    1. Oh Petre!!! What a wonderful surprise. Thank you for all of your encouragement over the years. Your dedication to supporting the cause of animals, peace, science, social justice, women’s issues, arts, is an inspiration. You make a difference….


  3. Hi Rebecca: I was reading your post on Turner and suddenly bumped into your series of posts on Art Nouveau! It was in summer 2012 when I probably did not know you yet. These posts are so interesting to me. I think you have talked about Art Nouveau from a historian angle with lots of educational information.for us. There are so much to learn from you, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing and posting!

    About Turner, I think England is lucky to have Turner. I asked many people a question: why is it there were so many French and Spanish famous artists who became world known, and yet the British who were very strong for many centuries, did not have such luck in art? Was it because of their concentration on the industrial revolution and economic growth?

    David Hockney is an exception for being so successful, but he is contemporary.! Of course there were a few other talented artists like John Constable, John singer Sargent, James Whistler ( who claimed to be born in St. Petersburg); but I did not see any important art movement like Art Nouveau, Impressionism, cubism etc.

    Any words of wisdom, Rebecca?



    1. Your comments always give me something to think about, Denise. I agree – England is lucky to have Turner, William Morris, Thomas Gainsborough and many many more. One of the reasons why I am “chasing” art, is simply to understand our connection to those who have chosen to follow an artist’s calling, with little assurance that their chosen career would produce a decent living. Even in the past, whether or not we recognize the methodology, it was about support for the fine arts. A nation that encourages and finances creative endeavours is much richer as a whole.

      In my search, I discovered that knowing the background stories gave me a greater understanding of the artwork. For example, John Singer Sargent once said, “Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.” That quote interested me. Why would a friendship be broken over a portrait? And then I read about Madame X. Ah! What a difference a narrative makes.

      I have many more stories to go….


      1. Hee hee…I am very interested in the Madam X story. By the way , the painting is gorgeous! Thanks so much, Rebecca. I always enjoy chatting with you!


    1. Thank you so much for your excellent link and for adding depth to this post. It seems that Turner took on social causes and became the witness to the injustices of the time.


    1. Indeed it is! It is St. George’s Day and – I just found out that is is National Picnic Day. My Google search uncovered some interesting facts: It seems that in the early 19th century, a group of wealthy London citizens formed “The Picnic Society” to promote – yes, you guessed it: picnics as social gatherings. It was a potluck affair and they all had to provide some sort of entertainment. One of their meeting places was at the Pantheon, a place of public entertainment in Oxford Street.

      I learn something new everyday!!!


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