Joseph Mallord William TURNER

1775—1851

Though born in Covent Garden, London, Turner's origins lay in the West Country where his father had a baker's shop in South Molton, Devon. After working under Thomas Malton, the architectural draughtsman, his early career as an artist was launched as a wandering topographical draughtsman.

He travelled extensively, making sketches as he went, and working on his Liber Studiorum. Two of these journeys brought him to Cornwall - in 1811 and 1813 - where he produced more than 200 sketches, some of which became later developed paintings, others remaining as Cornish sketchbooks and records of the southern coasts of England. His visits and his work in Cornwall were to influence many artists who followed.  Wood comments that Turner was 'The greatest English artist of the 19th century, and one of the most important figures of the Romantic Movement.'