The Easel

JMW Turner: Narrating A Modern World

Turner, the Romantic, “enjoyed going to extremes”. Why paint a placid river when the tempestuous sea was available? Even better, the sea – which he painted hundreds of times – was diverse and changeable, a challenge to Turner’s “supreme energy”. Some of his watercolours seem prophetic – “like scribbles made by Jackson Pollock”. Not that he was trying to be prophetic; he was “making art for one primary audience – for himself,”