An overview of the prolific career of the highly influential artist.

Barry Venning


Price: USD$29.95



  • Covers all aspects of the prolific career of J M W Turner (1775-1851), one of the most popular and influential British artists
  • Features well-known works as well as those rarely reproduced
  • Argues that only by looking at the work against the background of early 19th-century Britain can the painter's creative decisions be understood

In The Press
'This lively, prolifically illustrated survey illuminates the career of Britain's greatest artist in a host of ways. Deftly sketching in the political, social and artistic background to his career, Venning notes how Turner's humble origins made him far more receptive to radicalism than the country gentleman, Constable. Thackeray was telling the truth when he wrote of Rain, Steam and Speed: 'the world has never seen anything like this picture.' Mark Rothko acknowledged his debt in a joke: 'This man Turner, he learnt a lot from me.'' (Independent on Saturday Magazine)

'Art & Ideas has broken new ground in making accessible authoritative views on periods, movements and concepts in art. As a series it represents a real advance in publishing.' (Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate London)

'The format is wonderful and offers what had long been missing in academic studies: usable manuals for specific themes or periods … I am definitely not alone in welcoming Art & Ideas as a precious set of teaching tools.' (Joachim Pissarro, Yale University)

'Accessible and engagingly written but with sufficient room to explore topics in some depth … Venning conveys very well indeed the visual curiosity and intellectual fizz with now associate with the artist … a successful and rounded account … The general reader, approaching Turner for the first time, will find here a lucid and persuasive narrative that renders comprehensible Turner’s sometimes bewildering achievement. Students and Turner scholars alike can likewise turn to Venning’s book not merely for its intelligent survey of Turner, but also for its fresh insights into the British art world in which he made his career, as well as valuable comments on the political and cultural context for his paintings and his posthumous reputation. The book also has the enormous merit of providing all its readers with an emphatic demonstration of why Turner matters and why new generations of artists, scholars, and art lovers are impelled to return to his art.' (Sam Smiles, Turner Society Newsletter)

About the author(s)
Barry Venning is Associate Lecturer in Art History at the Open University. He has written and lectured extensively on Turner, and his articles have appeared in Burlington Magazine, Art History and Turner Studies.


The Art Museum
20th-Century World Architecture
René Redzepi: A Work in Progress
Wild Art
Carlo Scarpa
The Chinese Art Book
The Design Book
Art Cities of the Future
Art as Therapy

. . Phi . . . .
. Be the first to learn about exclusive downloads, the latest stories and members-only discounts!

Enter your email below, sign up and check your email inbox for your first special offer.
. .