Joseph Mallord William Turner

Llanberis Lake and Snowdon - Caernarvon, Wales (About 1830 - 1835)

About this artwork

Turner conveys the breathtaking grandeur and beauty of Llanberis Lake and the highest peaks of the Welsh mountains in this work, which is based on drawings he made in 1799. Watercolour washes suggest the misty atmosphere of the mountain range, while the detailed foreground is emphasised with touches of body-colour. The two men fishing watched by a mother and child suggest the awesome scale of the scene. This highly finished view was painted to be engraved for the series of plates, 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales', commissioned by the publisher Charles Heath. The first print appeared in 1826, but the venture failed commercially.

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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner transformed the art of landscape painting in Britain. From detailed topographical studies to expansive, atmospheric vistas his works celebrate the diversity and emotive power of nature. He was born in Covent Garden, the son of a barber, and exhibited his earliest sketches in his father's shop before studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Turner became the youngest ever full member of the Royal Academy in 1802. His experimental use of watercolour and oils achieved stunning effects, attracting contemporary criticism and praise. Turner's admiration of past masters, above all Claude Lorraine, and the numerous sketches made on many tours in Britain and abroad, provided the basis for his 'sublime' land and seascapes.