William Turner was fascinated by the powers of nature. From devastating storms at sea to the smooth mirroring waters of mountain lakes; he carefully observed the world around him and sought ways to make the intangible tangible and to record the fleeting moment.
Turner’s work gives a leading role to the effect of light. The sun, the moon, a cloudy sky that bursts to release the light, or the glare of flames that set a ship a blaze. For Turner knew that light defines form, creates atmosphere and colours everything around us.
Turner was a visionary artist. A free-thinker with an unrelenting ambition, full of interest and with an urge to travel. He travelled through Europe until late in life. The watercolours which Turner created during his final tours are remarkable for their tranquillity and serenity. They belong to Turner’s finest and the most revolutionary work.
Driven by the need to understand the essence of what he saw, Turner with his vast oeuvre became free from all academic conventions. In his late work, line and pattern slowly dissolve completely until only colour and light remain. Turner was taking the first steps towards modern art. The first steps towards abstraction.