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Description - Turner by James Hamilton

The definitive biography of Turner and a major source of inspiration for the acclaimed film Mr Turner, directed by Mike Leigh. 'With splendid clarity and shrewd humour, James Hamilton evokes the visceral world of a great artist and a fascinating character.' MIKE LEIGH J.M.W Turner exhibited his work proudly but was correspondingly reticent about his private life. In 1799, aged 24, he became an Associate of the Royal Academy at the youngest possible age. While influential collectors competed to buy his paintings, Turner travelled widely, observing landscape and people, and collecting material for a cycle of images that would come to express the collective identity of Britain. In this lucid blend of vibrant biography and acute art history, James Hamilton introduces Turner to a new generation of readers and paints a picture of a uniquely generous human being, a giant of the nineteenth century and a beacon for the twenty-first.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340628119
ISBN-10: 0340628111
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 132mm x 26mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Sceptre
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 15-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Turner by James Hamilton

UK Kirkus Review » 'J M W Turner is the greatest British artist of all time.' Whether or not this statement is incontestable, he is certainly one of the best known and most enduringly popular, his major works eminently recognizable. Turner achieved fame early: the son of a barber, he made himself wealthy from his art while still in his 20s and remained rich until his death. Yet, for all his fame, he was a secretive man and much of his life - particularly the more private aspects of it - are shrouded in mystery and enigma. He was able to fend off the curious in his lifetime, and was 'protected' in death by those anxious to preserve their hero's reputation. As a consequence, biographers of Turner then and now face an uphill struggle in attempting to reconstruct his life and proceed from the same starting-points: the same established documentary sources, the same corpus of art works. This author re-asserts the central facts of Turner's life, and his particular - even peculiar - traits of character. Hamilton is a good exponent of Turner's art itself, but this is possibly not the priority within the context of this book. It would not be chosen primarily for its accounts of Turner's paintings, watercolours and sketches, but rather for the insights that it offers into the artist's life. With this goal in mind, Hamilton proceeds from the art historian's standpoint to look at the life behind the art. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - James Hamilton

James Hamilton is an art historian with a passion for science too. He has curated many exhibitions, including various Turner exhibitions. He works at the University of Birmingham.

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