William Turner, Master of Light

12 juillet 2016

Successively loyal disciple of the great masters of art and leader of the Impressionist movement, William Turner is unclassifiable. Between watercolors and oil paintings, most of his work focuses on the golden light of the sun and its reflections and that is the reason why he is commonly known as the "painter of light"

Turner, the gifted

Despite this luminous appellation, the life of William Turner has various gray areas, particularly during his youth. Born in London, apparently in 1775, Joseph Mallord William Turner is the son of a barber and costume maker. His mother loses little by little her mind while he is still a kid and suddenly dies in 1804. Sent to one of his uncles in Brentford, west of the capital, his interest in Art and painting awakens and sharpens. Proud, his father features the first drawings of his son in his shop window and even encourages the sale.

At only 12 years old, William Turner offers watercolors representing subjects of the romantic era such as Marine or Castles. After some research on the perspective in an architect's workshop, William Turner is admitted in 1789 - 14 years old only - in the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts.

Turner, the insatiable

As a member of the Academy, Turner breaks with his habit of painting nature and begins to open his eyes and mind to Masters’ artwork. Avid for paint , he feeds himself on the artworks by Rembrandt, Titian, Van de Velde, Cuyp or Canaletto. Fascinated by the French classics such as Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, he roams throughout Europe to visit private collections whether in France, Italy or the Netherlands.
Soon, he becomes a teacher at the Royal Academy, and owns a gallery in London, which leads Turner to emancipate himself from the shadow of his masters and to draw its own line. Taking advantage of the invention of many new pigments and on the commercialization of the first metal pipes, he now uses oil painting outside.

Turner, the forerunner

As a traveler, it's in Venice that Turner definitely plunges into a new dimension. Among canals, he uses the well-known views of Canaletto and emphasizes colors and light. Between mist, fog or foam, he is sure of his effects. His colors are fluid and, to "get the clarity of air", he uses white background but do not put aside the Rembrandt technique of “chiaroscuro” to emphasize the contrasts and colors. By showing the evocative power of color, by abandoning realism for enlightened artworks, William Turner stands as a forerunner of Impressionism. Throughout his career, he created along with his oil paintings, a gigantic production of nearly 20,000 watercolors he never exhibited during his lifetime. Revealed by John Ruskin, this collection is one of the largest in the history of watercolor, and one of them reached 5.8 million pounds (The Blue Rigi: Lake of Lucerne, 1842). The impact of his work is undeniable on the next generations of artists.

Discover the exhibition "Turner et la couleur" at the Caumont Hôtel of Aix-en-Provence until September 18, 2016.


Albert le Diuzet, Turnerien in the soul

Man of many lives , Albert The Diuzet is a complete artist . After a musical career, he devotes himself to painting he prefers initially the free expression of watercolor. He then switchesand use oil paintings while trying to find the spontaneous gesture of his watercolors inspired by Turner. He works his paintings directly onto the canvas with a knife or spatula. Fond of the sea, his abstract painting is dominated by the spontaneity, always built up with a figurative reminder. Albert Diuzet’s artistic aim is to bring a regenerator dream to a materialistic society.

Albert le diuzet Gallery