J.M.W. Turner: The Sun Is God



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J.M.W. Turner: The Sun Is God (63:00)
Item# 3287
©1974

This superb dramatization of the life and artistic development of the great painter shows a wide array of his works in the context of the time and place at which they were created. Using the writings of John Russell to provide commentary and artistic analysis, the program provides a delicate portrait of the painter whose experiments with light influenced a whole generation of Impressionists, who spent his life trying to capture in paint the power and brilliance of the sun, whose dying words were, "The sun is God." (63 minutes)


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Segments in this Video - (11)

1. Joseph Mallord William Turner (04:11)
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Turner dies on December 19, 1851. His body lay in his gallery. He leaves his paintings to the National Gallery and the public. Art critic John Ruskin catalogues his work after Turner’s death.

2. J.M.W. Turner's Early Life (03:45)

Turner began painting to escape an oppressive childhood. He had an obsession with the sea. He escapes London for a job in Yorkshire to create topographic drawings. This marks his turning point.

3. Turner's Early Success and Personal Life (04:19)

In Yorkshire J.M.W. Turner discovers a romantic enthusiasm for the power and beauty of nature. He tours England. He joins the Royal Academy and begins a secret relationship with Sarah Danby.

4. Painting Tours and Use of Light (07:42)

Turner went on painting tours. The price of his paintings rose. Nature dominated his paintings. His use of brightness was criticized. He became more eccentric and isolated, but loved children.

5. Turner's Use of Light in His Paintings (06:09)

Turner went to Italy in 1819. This experience influenced his work in space, color, light, and form. He begins to apply scientific theory of light to his paintings. He becomes a professor of perspective.

6. Obsession With Light and Death (02:35)

Turner paints “Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus” in 1829 using the full effect of Italian light. Critics refused to see the details. After his father’s death, he becomes obsessed with death and begins a will.

7. Transitions in Turner's Work (06:37)

Turner spends time at Petworth House, home of his patron Lord Egremont. He moves to the Booths' sea cottage. Impressionism defines his work. “The Fighting Temeraire” is a critical success.

8. J.M.W. Turner and John Ruskin (06:28)

After Mr. Booth dies, Turner and Mrs. Booth begin a secret relationship. In 1814 he meets John Ruskin and they become friends. Ruskin writes “Modern Painters” to defend Turner’s genius.

9. Turner's Work: True Image of His Mind (05:30)

The early 1840s mark Turner’s most productive years. His paintings are strange and symbolic, well ahead of their time. He paints from old images in his mind. His mystical paintings include his dreams.

10. Turner's Declining Years (07:15)

By the 1840s Turner and Ruskin are treated as a joke and lampooned. Turner’s health declines by 1846. He moves to London as Admiral Booth. He becomes more obsessed with his will.

11. Turner's Last Year and Death (03:34)

Turner paints “Visit to the Tomb” in his last year. He leaves 19,000 pictures to the public. Contrary to his wishes they were not kept together and many still cannot be seen by the public.



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