Uninventivenees is the worst sin


Joseph Turner (1775–1851) is the best-loved English landscape painter of the early 19th Romantic art movement (spirited, emotional, dramatic and the Nature-contemplating art). In Romantism, 'creating from nothingness' is considered as genius, being derivative (uninventive) - the worst sin. Innovative, as any artist who has even made a name for himself, Turner too invented a new painting technique. His paintings were so different from what other artists did at the time he thought to be insane! Called 'the painter of the light', his chromatic palette and broadly applied atmospheric washes of paint evoked almost pure light. To Turner, light was the emanation of God's spirit. "The Sun is God" - he believed to have uttered at his deathbed. However, it is not the optical phenomena but expression of spirituality in the world what Turner strived for. He bequested much of his work to the British nation, and since his death have been widely celebrated around the world with hundred exhibitions, dedicated museums and named after him art prizes. Not bad for a 11 years old boy who used to exhibit his drawings in the windows of his wig-maker father' shop.





The Slave Ship, 1840

Joseph Turner



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