- Series: Oxford Companions
- Hardcover: 478 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 22, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198600259
- ISBN-13: 978-0198600251
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,791,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Oxford Companion to J. M. W. Turner (Oxford Companions) 0th Edition
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From Library Journal
Turner's vast output offers little information about his personal life, making a complete biography even less possible than a catalogue raisonn . Given these constraints, this first "Oxford Companion" devoted to the work of one artist attains an impressive breadth of vision and attention to detail. Three British Turner experts (a dealer, a curator, and an academic) assembled 53 scholars drawn from both sides of the Atlantic and from a variety of "Turneriana" viewpoints to produce close to 800 entries. Access is provided in alphabetical form, preceded by a classified contents list arranged under major themes such as "Patrons," "Literary Figures Important to Turner," and "Topography." Articles may appear under multiple headings in this listing. Each entry includes many cross references marked by an asterisk and, where appropriate, a list of references. The vast coverage includes such diverse topics as political issues of Turner's time, the topography of the landscapes depicted in his works, personal records of family and associates, and the current market for his art. Specific works of art are given detailed attention, including contemporary events and reviews. As in any compendium of this sort, the writing varies from elegant to pedantic and the topics from interesting to obscure, but the work provides a wealth of scholarly information and a substantive guide to the life and work of one of Britain's greatest painters. Daunting in scope and execution, this is recommended for all academic and art libraries. Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What could be more British than an Oxford Companion to J. M. W. Turner? This solid handbook is as densely packed with articles about Turner's art and life as a proper plum pudding is stuffed with raisins. Turner (1775-1851), considered the greatest British painter, was a prolific artist and a private person. Page after double-columned page discusses nearly every aspect of Turner's work, from media and techniques to working practices, exhibited and unexhibited watercolors and oils, subject matter, and more. Turner's life, too, is examined in articles on his family, travels, interests, friends, and so on. Many of the signed entries are actually essays rather than brief paragraphs, and that is what makes this book useful for more than just quick reference.
All the alphabetically arranged entries are connected by a thorough system of cross-references. There is also a classified contents list at the front of the book that sets out the topics addressed in a well-organized array. What would an art reference book be without illustrations? The center of this work serves up 32 full-color plates reproducing some of Turner's finest watercolors and oils. A sizable bibliography with entries representing work by more than a few of the editors and contributors is appended, as is a list of public collections with works by Turner (with galleries and museums cross-referenced to the A-Z entries).
There is one other noteworthy feature: a chronology in which events in Turner's life; developments in painting, architecture, music and literature; and other events in Britain and abroad are listed side by side. A quick look at the chronology shows that Turner's career flourished in the same time period as the Romantic movement that engendered Wordsworth, Byron, and Blake as well as revolution on both sides of the Atlantic. The singular subject of this book makes it most appropriate for fine arts and large reference collections; however, any collection serving anglophiles and art lovers should also considering adding it. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
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If you are taking a graduate course in art history it is right on target however if you are madly in love with the art of this giant go elsewhere for your pleasure.
If you have a major interest in J M W Turner then this book is well worth buying.It is along the usual Oxford Companion lines -if you know the format. Oxford have published several hundred companions on a vast range of subjects ( it looks as though the Turner Conpanion didn't sell all that well as I don't see any others in the series on other painters but I may have missed them.This book isn't full of reproductions of Turner's work. There are only 33 colour plates at the centre of the book.. However there plenty of articles on Turner's work in oils and watercolour and also details related to other works that he did in France ,on on the Seine, in the Alps or any of a number of places in British ,Scotland Wales etc
the book has some 800 articles that are beautifully outlined in the Classified Contents List
A bare bones summary of some of the sections gives you a very poor ideas of the riches this work contains
To give several examples
Genre and content
Subject matter- some 20 articles
Topography- England/Scotland/Wales/Belgium/France/Germany/Holland/ItalySwitzerland/other countries- some 88 articles in all
British /Dutch /Flemish/French/Italian/other 32 articles
Exhibited oils (works exhibited in his lifetime)- nearly 70 works with individual entries including many famous works
INon exhibited Oils- 10 articles
There is a large section covering Turner's life/travel/interests etc etc This includes sections on"Exhibitions during Turner's lifetime " and "Patrons,Collectors and Dealers in Turner,s lifetime etc - some 180 entries in all-full of great facts waiting to be discovered
One could go on
This companion has some 800 articles written by 53 Turner scholars-some are world authorities like the editors and a number of contributors ,while others are excellent younger scholars There summerizes the vast literature on Turner-much of it dating from 1970 onwards
It is hard to give an idea of the wealth of material in this volume that are summarized in these excellent easy to read but informative articles. There is extensive coverage of Turner's Art, His Life,His Context
There is a helpful bibliography, detailed chronology and finally a very useful list of Museums with major Turner holding-arranged by country eg. France Louvre 1 painting 1 watercolour
Uk London Tate numbers not given but brief note of what the Turner Bequest covered
This book is full of interesting articles which will carry you from article to article
You may start in the section in Turner's life and read the articles on Travel ,companions on travel,disaster on travel, weather on travel and witnesses to Turner abroad. You then look up the 80 plus articles noted under topography in the Classified Contents List .This will then lead you to further articles.
You may hear about the artists who influenced Turner- there is extensive coverage of these.They include Claude !Rembrandt,Watteau and many others. There are also articles on Turner's influence on Impressionism, later artists,Matisse etc
You learn that Turner was a very weathly man but you also learn about his will and how it was contested. This is the background to the Turner bequest There is a brief note on the Clore Foundation what gave the money to the Tate to build the Clore Galleries which have much more space to exhibit Turner's oils ans will as study rooms and Exhibition galleries were a changing exhibition of Turner's drawings and watercolours occur I think once a year
Turner is now much more visible both at the Tate but also in numerous exhibitions around the world.
If I could give more stars I would
The is a jewel of a book that will deepen your knowledge of Turner and will be an excellent reference for years. It is beautifully written and both the beginner (who will deepen his/her knowledge- it may take some time but it will be well worth it) and the scholar will enjoy it
My only disappointment so far is admittedly peripheral: why does such a scholarly (and expensive) volume not come in the black (or immensely dark blue) cloth that OUP gives to most of its hardbacks?