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Download Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner Audiobook, by Franny Moyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Franny Moyle Narrator: John Sackville Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2016 ISBN: 9781524708825
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The life of one of Western art’s most admired and misunderstood painters

J.M.W. Turner is one of the most important figures in Western art, and his visionary work paved the way for a revolution in landscape painting. Over the course of his lifetime, Turner strove to liberate painting from an antiquated system of patronage. Bringing a new level of expression and color to his canvases, he paved the way for the modern artist.

Turner was very much a man of his changing era. In his lifetime, he saw Britain ravaged by Napoleonic wars, revived by the Industrial Revolution, and embarked upon a new moment of Imperial glory with the ascendancy of Queen Victoria. His own life embodied astonishing transformation. Born the son of a barber in Covent Garden, he was buried amid pomp and ceremony in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Turner was accepted into the prestigious Royal Academy at the height of the French Revolution when a climate of fear dominated Britain. Unable to travel abroad he explored at home, reimagining the landscape to create some of the most iconic scenes of his country. But his work always had a profound human element. When a moment of peace allowed travel into Europe, Turner was one of the first artists to capture the beauty of the Alps, to revive Venice as a subject, and to follow in Byron’s footsteps through the Rhine country.

While he was commercially successful for most of his career, Turner’s personal life remained fraught. His mother suffered from mental illness and was committed to Bedlam. Turner never married but had several long-term mistresses and illegitimate daughters. His erotic drawings were numerous but were covered up by prurient Victorians after his death.

Turner’s late, impressionistic work was held up by his Victorian detractors as example of a creeping madness. Affection for the artist’s work soured. John Ruskin, the greatest of all 19th century art critics, did what he could to rescue Turner’s reputation, but Turner’s very last works confounded even his greatest defender.

Turner humanizes this surprising genius while placing him in his fascinating historical context. Franny Moyle brilliantly tells the story of the man to give us an astonishing portrait of the artist and a vivid evocation of Britain and Europe in flux.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] satisfying popular history of the man who was arguably Britain’s greatest painter.”

    Economist (London)

  • “A fine book, deftly weaving psychological detail, painterly observations, and historical context.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Provides a clear picture of the very unclear life of this inventive artist whose personality was almost as exceptional as his work…[A] well-researched book, written with panache.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Moyle’s art-historical perceptions make this detailed and beautifully balanced biography a compelling read…Turner emerges from it larger…revealed as a man of his moment.”

    Scottish Herald

  • “Turner’s unconventional life also makes fascinating reading. This biography is highly recommended.”

    Historical Novel Society

  • “Devotees of painter J. M. W. Turner will appreciate John Sackville’s British-accented narration. His approach to this exhaustive biography is steady and punctuated with believable dialogue, notably Turner’s Cockney-inflected speech. The biography brings Turner’s rags-to-riches mythology to life…As Sackville illuminates both the difficult, brilliant Turner and his work, listeners will be intrigued by the Romantic period and its art.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Franny Moyle studied art history at St John’s College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation’s first commissioner for arts and culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer and the author of Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde and Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites.

About the Narrator

John Sackville is an English actor and voice artist. He studied at St. Andrews University and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has since acted on stage and on camera,and has narrated a number of audiobooks, computer games, documentaries, and commercials.