Saturday, December 19, 2009

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner passed this day, December 19, in 1775. Always a private individual, Turner had a residence in Chelsea which he holed up in, preparing to die. Friends found him the day before his death.

Turner was the son of a barber, and was born in his father's shop. The elder Turner supported the son's interest in art, and the two remained close throughout life. In 1789, Turner entered the Royal Academy (RA) as a student. In 1802 he was elected an academician. In 1807, he became professor of perspective at the RA. That year, his "Liber Studiorum" was issued, full of engravings by himself and others. The "Liber Studiorum" was issued in several volumes over several years, and included several Walter Scott related subjects. In 1831, Scott's publisher Robert Cadell wrote to Turner, asking him to illustrate a new edition of "Scott's Poetical Works". Turner replied favorably, offering 24 designs at 25 guineas each; well under the rate Cadell anticipated.

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