'This made me a painter' J.M.W. Turner and the perception of Holland and Dutch art in Romantic Britain
Meer Mohr, Q.F.M. van der
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Innumerable scholars have been engaged in the understanding of the work of the Romantic painter Joseph Mallord William Turner. They all have intended to capture the complexity of his artistic production and yet, the understanding of his genius remains up for debate and a justified image of the artist- often associated with modern art- his not been established. It appears that there are still too many aspects of Turner’s life and work to be investigated and others perhaps revised. This thesis tends to cover one of these aspects: Turners relationship with the Low Countries. Did Holland inspired Turner to explore his romantic genius, or did the country just offer him a firm base of public confidence and financial security because of its great history of painting, the demand for those paintings in the art market and the competition with colleagues who practiced a fairly ‘Dutch’ palette? This is a subject which deserves much more attention than has been given in the past. Turner also visited the country on several occasions and , after all, his earliest biographer, Walter Thornbury, stated that Turner ‘had outshone Cuyp, distanced Vandervelde and beaten Ruysdael’.