Joseph Mallord William Turner (April 23, 1775 – December 19, 1851) was a landscape and portraits painter and watercolorist known for his outstanding use of brilliant colours and delicate, luminous impressions. Born in Covent Garden to a lower middle-class family, his early talent won him a place at the Royal Academy. He was renowned for touring during the summer, creating sketches which he would develop in his studio over the winter months. By 1800, he was able to afford his own central London gallery where he displayed and sold this work. As well as English landscapes in 1817 he visited Holland and Belgium taking in its most famous battlefield, which resulted in his 1818 masterpiece The Field of Waterloo. His painting the Fighting Temeraire – was inspired by a chance sighting of the vessel, which had been part of Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, as it was being towed up the River Thames in 1839 by a steam tug where it was to be scrapped. Despite his fame and success he retained his Cockney accent. He never married but had a relationship with an older widow, Sarah Danby, and is believed to have been the father of her two daughters. He died of cholera at the home of Sophia Caroline Booth, in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. He is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, where he lies near to Sir Joshua Reynolds. This is one of a cluster of streets in the area associated with British Art the others are Constable Close, Cotman Close, Linnell Close, Linnell Drive, Raeburn Close, Ruskin Close, and Turner Drive.
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