J. M. W. Turner is perhaps the world’s most famous landscape painter. His compelling tale is of a boy born into the eighteenth century petty bourgeoisie who, fired by ambition, talent and commercial acumen, rose to become recognized as the greatest artist of his era, before being mocked for work that transgressed the taste of the times. His career spanned an era that saw revolution and chaos on the continent, the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo, sailing ships and steam engines, and the Georgian moment superseded by the Victorian Empire. Intrepid and original, he revealed the British landscape in the vanguard of tourism; he discovered the sublime power of the Alps; and rediscovered Venice for a new generation. An embodiment of the emergent modern artist, his work combined a visionary eye and a profound intellect.
Franny Moyle tells the story of the man who never failed to astound his audience with the boldness and bravery of his highly original work. This is an astonishing portrait of one of the most important figures in Western art and a vivid evocation of an eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain and Europe in flux.