Turner as Draughtsman looks at the artist's practice of drawing in various media (pen, pencil and chalk as well as watercolour and oil paint), an aspect of Turner's work which has hitherto received very little attention. Andrew Wilton shows that, while Turner's art has always been celebrated for its atmospheric breadth and freedom of handling, he based his working procedures throughout his career on the discipline of drawing in outline, which was an essential element in the grand strategy by which he achieved his formidable results. An important section of the book is devoted to the vexed question of Turner's drawing of the human figure, and the crucial role played by the figure both in his conception of landscape and in his ambitious attempts to master all the genres of fashionable contemporary art.
'This book is a masterpiece. If nothing else this exceptional book lifts Turner out of the straight-jackets imposed hitherto by sundry art historians, critics and other experts, to a level free of myth and other posthumous shades. Here is the man himself, an incorrigible genius, forever experimenting, forever at work'.' www.artnewsletter.com 'This is a highly original study, resting on an intimate knowledge of the visual materials, which Wilton often characterizes with great vividness and verve … his style is free of academic jargon … The theme of this book is thoroughly worthwhile and its material is rich and up-to-date.' John Gage, University of Cambridge, UK ’…47 good black-and-white illustrations…Wilton writes with the erudition and knowledge of an experienced observer who is adept at casting a critical eye on both traditional and recent scholarship. At the same time, his skill at explaining the nuances of Turner’s genius should give this book a wide appeal. Extensive endnotes and full bibliography…Recommended.’ Choice ’… an important contribution to our overall understanding of Turner's work… nuanced and perceptive study…’ Victorian Studies
Contents: Introduction: could Turner draw?; Turner's history of drawing; The rudiments of draughtsmanship; Early influences; A mature shorthand; Line and colour; Drawing and painting; Turner's humanity; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.