The second programme I caught up with over the weekend was ‘The Genius of Turner – Painting the Industrial Revolution’ and as the title says he painted the Industrial Revolution as it happened.
I learnt that he was short, had rough manners and a strong Cockney accent which was a surprise to learn. His father was a barber/wig maker and very ambitious for his son he even boasted to the artist Thomas Stothard that: “My son, sir, is going to be a painter”.
Turner became a scholarship boy at the Royal Academy which unlike art schools today taught drawing and not painting so he had to teach himself how to paint with oils. He exhibited his first oil ‘Fishermen at Sea‘ when he was only 21 so didn’t make a bad job of being self taught.