The critic John Ruskin credited him with elevating landscape painting to the level of history painting. Monet later spoke of “doing battle with the sun” but Turner was as victorious in his expressionistic mastery of sunlight and atmosphere. His early reputation was in the established English tradition of topographical watercolors but he soon began to travel abroad, notably in France, the Rhine valley, Switzerland and Italy, where he could find more dramatic scenery. He acquired some powerful patrons, but many were baffled by his increasingly impressionistic style.
Books on J.M.W. Turner
Andrew Wilton, Turner in his Time, New York, 1987.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W.Turner, New Haven, 1984.
Walter Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London, 1862.