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Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London in 1775.
His very precocious talent was encouraged by his father who made him attend the Royal Academy school of painting. At the start he was an engraver and watercolorist, but from 1796, he dedicated himself to oil painting.
He progressively learned to submit the realist detail to a more free and lyrical conception of landscape. He studied atmospheric effects and the play of light more and more deeply.
His first journey to Italy (1819), during the course of which he visited Venice, Rome and Naples, revealed the intense Italian light to him. He returned several times to Venice and brought back some admirable views of the lagoon. In a space constructed solely of luminous effects, lose shapes of consistence and contour and pure colours become the unique topic of the picture.
The technical ability of Turner at the end of his life brought his art an emotional strength and an unequalled degree of abstraction for its time.