Turner

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) was a major influence on the French Impressionists.

Monet claimed to the bitter end that no such influence existed, but Monet's signature appearing six times in the visitor's book at the British Museum would suggest otherwise! Even the greatest of artists have egos.

Turner: 'Steam boat in a snow Storm'
Turner: 'Steam Boat in a Snow Storm'.

Look at 'Steam Boat in a Snow Storm', it is certainly an evocative impression of a snow storm on the sea. I have never been in that exact situation, but I have experienced storms on the sea, thankfully whilst on a very large vessel!

Turner evokes the movement, the fury and even the sound. Nature seems to explode off the canvas, threatening to engulf the viewer, not to mention the hapless vessel.

This is truly western literature at it's finest, a synaesthetic evocation of nature.

Take a moment and contemplate the moods in these works:

Turner: 'Thames above Waterloo Bridge'
The gloomy Thames River, enshrouded in man-made smoke and natural fog. Turner: 'Thames above Waterloo Bridge'.

Turner: 'Son of Venice going to Sea'
The Italian merchant casting off onto the sweltering Mediterranean. Turner: 'Son of Venice going to Sea'.

Turner: 'Blue Rigi, sunrise' 1842
A calm, misty sunrise. Turner: 'Blue Rigi, sunrise' 1842.

Like most masters of art and music, Turner was prodigious in output, leaving behind about 19,000 watercolors, drawings, and oils upon his death. So Turner was a total master of the craft, and spent most of his energy exploring idiom (style) and idea.