Libro. 1879, London (Reino Unido). Editado por: Chiswick Press: C. Whittingham, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane
Humanidades: Artes Aplicadas, Historia
Palabras clave: pintura abstracta, pintura inglesa, William Turner
Sir E. Landseer
PREFACE: The late Mr. Thornbury lost such an opportunity of writing a worthy biography of Turner as will never occur again. How he dealt with the valuable materials which he collected is well known to all who have had to test the accuracy of his statements; and unfortunately many of the channels from which he derived information have since been closed by death. Mr. Buskin, who might have helped so much, has contributed little to the life of the artist but some brilliant passages of pathetic rhetoric. Overgrown by his luxuriant eloquence, and buried beneath the debris of Thornbury, the ruins of Turner’s Life lay hidden till last year.
Mr. Hamerton’s “Life of Turner ” has done much to remove a very serious blot from English literature. Very careful, but very frank, it presents a clear and consistent view of the great painter and his art, and is, moreover, penetrated with that intellectual insight and refined thought which illuminate all its author’s work.
He has, however, left much to be done, and this book will, I hope, help a little in clearing away long-standing errors, and reducing the known facts about Turner to something like order. To these facts I have been able to add a few hitherto unpublished; and it is a pleasant duty to return my thanks to the many kind friends and strangers for the pains which they have taken to supply me with information. To Mr. F. E. Trimmer, of Heston, the son of Turner’s old friend and executor ; to Mr. John L. Roget ; to Mr. Mayall, and to Mr. J. Beavington Atkinson, my thanks are especially due.
In so small a book upon so large a subject, I have often had much difficulty in deciding what to select and what to reject, and have always preferred those events and stories which seem to me to throw most light upon Turner’s character. On purely technical matters I have touched only when I thought it absolutely necessary. This part of the subject has been already so well and fully treated by Mr. Ruskin in numerous works, too well known to need mention; by Mr. Hamerton in his “Life of Turner,” and “Etching and Etchers;” by Messrs. Redgrave in their ” Century of English Painters,” and by Mr. S. Redgrave in his introduction to the collection of water-colours at South Kensington, that I need only refer to these works such few among my readers as are not already acquainted with them. I would also refer them for similar reasons to Mr. Rawlinson’s recent work on the “Liber Studiornm.”
I should have liked t0 add to this volume accurate lists of Turner’s works and the engravings from them, with in- formation of their possessors, and the extraordinary fluctuation in the prices which they have realized, but this would have entailed great labour and have swelled unduly the bulk of this volume, which is already greater than that of its fellows. Fortunately this information is likely to be soon supplied by Mr. Algernon Graves, whose accurate catalogue of Landseer’s works is sufficient guarantee of the manner in which he will perform this more difficult task.
The edition of Thornbury’s “Life of Turner ” referred to throughout these pages, is that of 1877.
W. COSMO MONKHOUSE.