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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

*  1775 London
† 1851 Chelsea

The painter Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London on 23 April, 1775. Turner's father was a barber and his mother the daughter of a butcher. They lived in a flat in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. He was a self-educated person; he did not have an artistic training but learned very quickly and was very talented. He received a scholarship from the Royal Academy at the age of 14. One year later Turner presented his first watercolor in the annual exhibition of the Academy. He was admitted to the Royal Academy at the age of 26. He exhibited his first oil painting ("Fishermen at Sea") in 1796 and became an associate member of the Royal Academy three years later. In 1804 Turner had earned enough money to build a gallery next to his house where he could exhibit his works. Alongside John Constable, Turner became one of the leading English landscape painters. Many of his works were presented in two bigger exhibitions in 1819. In the same year Turner made a trip to Italy which caused a radical turning-point in his career. He created more than 2000 pencil sketches of Rome and its surroundings within four months. Many of his most famous works are from the last years of his life. At the age of 76 Turner died in London 19, December, 1851. He was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. Turner bequeathed 300 oil paintings and nearly 20,000 drawings and watercolors to the British nation.