The great English artist J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) travelled around Britain at a time of exceptional change and upheaval following the Industrial Revolution. As Turner's poetry and the pattern of his print publishing confirm, it was the complex image of Britain's growing sense of nationhood that he sought to capture and celebrate as Britain grew to be the world's first industrial power.
This art history book about the British artist takes us on Turner's restless journeys on foot and horseback, by stagecoach and riverboat, as the landscape artist sketched the rural market towns, the burgeoning industrial cities and the lonely landscapes of Wales, northern England and Scotland. Britain's past is celebrated through the looming forms of ancient castles and churches as well as in the picturesque jumble of ancient shops and thoroughfares; its present by canals, soldiery and industrial workings.
Turner witnessed the repercussions of war in Europe and the threat of invasion to see Britain, the island state, emerge as a triumphant naval power. By the 1840s, in old age, Turner moved from his depiction of the dramatic interior of Britain to its edges. In his last images of the sea and shore, we look out across the water through Turner's eyes to a beckoning but indistinct future.
This British art history book is one of many art books available from the National Gallery, which include art history books, art exhibition catalogues and gift books.