JMW Turner RA
'The painter of light'
Born Covent Garden, London 1775
Died Chelsea, London 1851 and buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA was one of Britain’s greatest painters and visited Yorkshire many times during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century.
On one particular visit, during the especially wet summer of 1816, he visited the Masham and West Tanfield area as well as Hackfall Woods near Grewelthorpe. His objective in visiting Yorkshire at this time was to create illustrations for a book on the county which was to be called 'General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker.
Turner's way of working whilst ‘on location’ was to make numerous sketches which, once he had returned to his studio in London, he then referred to when creating his landscape paintings.
Those very preliminary sketches Turner made of West Tanfield, Masham and Hackfall Woods still survive to this day in the Tate Britain archive in London and can be viewed on line. They provide a charming portrait of our area some two hundred years ago and offer a wonderful record of nature as well as the landscape and buildings locally.
You can read more about one of Turner's subjects, The Marmion Tower, here ..
To celebrate the visit of Turner in the summer of 1816, it is proposed to mark the two hundred and four years since he came to our area with events and activities taking place in West Tanfield during August 2021.
Philip Spellacy, Ure Cottage, Church St. West Tanfield, Ripon HG4 5JQ
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