J. M. W. Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

1775 (London) – 1851 (London)

Turner was a one-off, his painting responding to that of earlier artists, yet potently foreshadowing both impressionism and abstraction. Girtin was a youthful friend and rival, and Soane (a fellow lover of light) another friend. He toured Lancashire with Fuseli, revered Lawrence, was respected by Frith, championed by Ruskin, and discussed pigment and light with Faraday. Scott, who planned a collaboration, liked his work more than him. Delacroix (they visited one another) said he looked like a farmer, Somerville marvelled at what the rough exterior concealed, while Constable said he was uncouth, but with a wonderful range of mind.