Joseph Turner was born near Covent Garden in London and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1789. In his early twenties Turner's focus on historical landscapes. These large-scale paintings became divorced from nature and featured the loose, luminous brushwork and abstract conceptions for which he became known. A trip to Italy he altered his style, leading to his late emphasis on the power of color and light to create dramatic, evocative scenes. He became known as 'the painter of light', because of his increasing interest in brilliant colors as the main constituent in his land and seascapes. His paintings include water colors, oils and engravings. At the time his free, expressive treatment of these subjects was criticized, but it is now widely appreciated. Turner is perhaps the best-loved English Romantic artist.
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