Turner, Sun setting over a Lake, c.1840 / Norham Castle, Sunrise, c.1845
Turner and Impressionism
By the 1870’s the French Impressionist painters such as Monet and Pissarro had been to London. Here they saw works by Turner and Constable on public display at the National Gallery. Renoir is known to have said ‘… it was the Turners that first attracted me to London.’ Pissarro recommended to his son Lucien to see the Turners and later to Matisse who sought out Turners on his honeymoon in 1898. In turn Matisse encouraged Derain to study Turner while in London in 1906.
Turner, it seems, was a huge influence on the French painters that came after him. Was he the precursor to Impressionism? Not a new question. But a valid one and one that generates thought and contemplation.
An English Journal ‘The Artist’ on Pissarro’s thoughts:
It seems to me that we are descended from the English Turner. He was perhaps the first to make his colours shine with natural brilliancy. There is much for us to learn in the English School.
Turner, it appears we have much to thank you for. So… with grateful thanks, you are quite marvellous.