John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, myth, literature, education and political economy, his writing styles and literary forms were varied. He penned essays and treatises and lectures, travel guides and manuals, letters and a fairy tale, he made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, birds and architectural structures and ornamentation. The elaborate style that characterised his earliest writing on art gave way in time to plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature and society, he was hugely influential in the latter half of the 19th century and up to the First World War. After a period of relative decline, his reputation has improved since the 1960s with the publication of numerous academic studies of his work. Today, his ideas and concerns are recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism and craft.
Ruskin first came to widespread attention with the first volume of Modern Painters, an extended essay in defence of the work of J. M. W. Turner in which he argued that the principal role of the artist is "truth to nature." From the 1850s, he championed the Pre-Raphaelites. His work focused on social and political issues. Unto This Last marked the shift in emphasis. In 1869, Ruskin became the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, where he established the Ruskin School of Drawing. In 1871, he began his monthly "letters to the workmen and labourers of Great Britain", published under the title Fors Clavigera. In the course of this complex and personal work, he developed the principles underlying his ideal society; as a result, he founded the Guild of an organisation that endures today. Ruskin was the only child of first cousins, his father, John James Ruskin, was a sherry and wine importer, founding partner and de facto business manager of Ruskin and Domecq. John James was born and brought up in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a mother from Glenluce and a father from Hertfordshire.
His wife, Margaret Cock, was the daughter of a publican in Croydon. She had joined the Ruskin household when she became companion to Catherine. John James had hoped to practice law, was articled as a clerk in London, his father, John Thomas Ruskin, described as a grocer, was an incompetent businessman. To save the family from bankruptcy, John James, whose prudence and success were in stark contrast to his father, took on all debts, settling the last of them in 1832. John James and Margaret were engaged in 1809, but opposition to the union from John Thomas, the problem of his debts, delayed the couple's wedding, they married, without celebration, in 1818. John James died on 3 March 1864 and is buried in the churchyard of St John the Evangelist, Croydon. Ruskin was born on 8 February 1819 at 54 Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, south of St Pancras railway station, his childhood was shaped by the contrasting influences of his father and mother, both of whom were fiercely ambitious for him. John James Ruskin helped to develop his son's Romanticism.
They shared a passion for the works of Byron and Walter Scott. They visited Scott's home, Abbotsford, in 1838. Margaret Ruskin, an Evangelical Christian, more cautious and restrained than her husband, taught young John to read the Bible from beginning to end, to start all over again, committing large portions to memory, its language and parables had a profound and lasting effect on his writing. Ruskin's childhood was spent from 1823 at 28 Herne Hill, near the village of Camberwell in South London, he had few friends of his own age, but it was not the friendless and toyless experience he claimed it was in his autobiography, Praeterita. He was educated at home by his parents and private tutors, from 1834 to 1835 he attended the school in Peckham run by the progressive Evangelical, Thomas Dale. Ruskin heard Dale lecture in 1836 at King's College, where Dale was the first Professor of English Literature. Ruskin went on to enroll and complete his studies at King's College, where he prepared for Oxford under Dale's tutelage.
Ruskin was influenced by the extensive and privileged travels he enjoyed in his childhood. It augmented his education, he sometimes accompanied his father on visits to business clients at their country houses, exposing him to English landscapes and paintings. Family tours took them to relatives in Perth, Scotland; as early as 1825, the family visited Belgium. Their continental tours became ambitious in scope, so that in 1833 they visited Strasbourg, Milan and Turin, places to which Ruskin returned, he developed his lifelong love of the Alps, in 1835 he first visited Venice, that'Paradise of cities' that provided the subject and symbolism of much of his work. The tours provided Ruskin with the opportunity to record his impressions of nature, he composed elegant if conventional poetry, some of, published in Friendship's Offering. His early notebooks
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian, was a British Liberal politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from March 1894 to June 1895. Between the death of his father, in 1851, the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl of Rosebery, in 1868 he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny. Rosebery first came to national attention in 1879 by sponsoring the successful Midlothian campaign of William Ewart Gladstone, he was in charge of Scottish affairs. His most successful performance in office came as chairman of the London County Council in 1889, he entered the cabinet in 1885 and served twice as foreign minister, paying special attention to French and German affairs. He succeeded Gladstone as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party in 1894, he never again held political office. Rosebery was known as a brilliant orator, an outstanding sportsman and marksman, a writer and historian and collector. All of these activities attracted him more than politics.
Furthermore, he drifted to the right of the Liberal party and became a bitter critic of its policies. Winston Churchill, observing that he never adapted to democratic electoral competition, quipped: "He would not stoop. Historians judge him a failure as prime minister. Archibald Philip Primrose was born on 7 May 1847 in his parents' house in Charles Street, London, his father was Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny and heir apparent to Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery, whom he predeceased. Lord Dalmeny was a courtesy title used by the Earl's eldest son and heir apparent, during the Earl's lifetime, was one of the Earl's lesser Scottish titles. Lord Dalmeny was MP for Stirling from 1832 to 1847 and served as First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Melbourne. Rosebery's mother was Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, a historian who wrote under her second married name "the Duchess of Cleveland", a daughter of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope. Lord Dalmeny died on 23 January 1851, having predeceased his father, when the courtesy title passed to his son, the future Rosebery, as the new heir to the earldom.
In 1854 his mother remarried to Lord Harry Vane. The relationship between mother and son was poor, his elder and favourite sister Lady Leconfield was the wife of 2nd Baron Leconfield. Dalmeny attended preparatory schools in Hertfordshire and Brighton and Eton which he attended between 1860 and 1863, his remarkable intellect, displayed in debates, attracted the attention of William Johnson Cory. Dalmeny proceeded to Christ Church, through the years 1865 until 1869. Remarkably the three Prime Ministers from 1880 to 1902, namely Gladstone and Rosebery, all attended both Eton and Christ Church. Whilst at Christ Church, in 1868 Dalmeny bought a horse named Ladas, although a rule banned undergraduates from owning horses; when he was found out, he was offered a choice: to give up his studies. He chose the latter, subsequently was a prominent figure in British horseracing for 40 years. Rosebery toured the United States in 1873, 1874 and 1876, he was pressed to marry Marie Fox, the sixteen-year-old adopted daughter of Henry Fox, 4th Baron Holland.
She declined him and married Prince Louis of Liechtenstein. When his grandfather died in 1868, Dalmeny became 5th Earl of Rosebery; the earldom did not however entitle Archibald Primrose to sit in the House of Lords, nor disqualify him from sitting in the House of Commons, as the title is part of the old Peerage of Scotland, from which 16 members were elected to sit in the Lords for each session of Parliament. However, in 1828, Rosebery's grandfather had been created 1st Baron Rosebery in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which did entitle Rosebery to sit in the Lords like all peers of the United Kingdom, barred him from a career in the House of Commons. Rosebery is reputed to have said that he had three aims in life: to win the Derby, to marry an heiress, to become Prime Minister, he managed all three. At Eton, Rosebery notably attacked Charles I of England for his despotism, went on to praise his Whig forebears – his ancestor, James Stanhope, 1st Earl Stanhope, was a minister to George I of Great Britain.
Benjamin Disraeli met with Rosebery in the 1870s to try to recruit him for his party, but this proved futile. Disraeli's major rival, William Ewart Gladstone pursued Rosebery, with considerable success; as part of the Liberal plan to get Gladstone to be MP for Midlothian, Rosebery sponsored and ran the Midlothian Campaign of 1879. He based this on. Gladstone spoke from open-deck trains, gathered mass support. In 1880, he was duly returned to the premiership. Rosebery served as Foreign Secretary in Gladstone's brief third ministry in 1886, he served as the first chairman of the London County Council, set up by the Conservatives in 1889. Rosebery Avenue in Clerkenwell is named after him, he served as President of the first day of the 1890 Co-operative Congress. Rosebery's second period as Foreign Secretary, 1892–1894, predominantly involved quarrels with France over Uganda. To quote his hero Napoleon, Rosebery thought that "the Master of Egypt is the Master
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H. M. S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, his works include 24 operas, 11 major orchestral works, ten choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, numerous church pieces and piano and chamber pieces. His hymns and songs include "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord"; the son of a military bandmaster, Sullivan composed his first anthem at the age of eight and was a soloist in the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal. In 1856, at 14, he was awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship by the Royal Academy of Music, which allowed him to study at the academy and at the Leipzig Conservatoire in Germany, his graduation piece, incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest, was received with acclaim on its first performance in London. Among his early major works were a ballet, L'Île Enchantée, a symphony, a cello concerto and his Overture di Ballo.
To supplement the income from his concert works he wrote hymns, parlour ballads and other light pieces, worked as a church organist and music teacher. In 1866 Sullivan composed a one-act comic opera and Box, still performed, he wrote his first opera with W. S. Gilbert, Thespis, in 1871. Four years the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte engaged Gilbert and Sullivan to create a one-act piece, Trial by Jury, its box-office success led to a series of twelve full-length comic operas by the collaborators. After the extraordinary success of H. M. S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, Carte used his profits from the partnership to build the Savoy Theatre in 1881, their joint works became known as the Savoy operas. Among the best known of the operas are The Mikado and The Gondoliers. Gilbert broke from Sullivan and Carte after a quarrel over expenses at the Savoy, they reunited in the 1890s for two more operas, but these did not achieve the popularity of their earlier works. Sullivan's infrequent serious pieces during the 1880s included two cantatas, The Martyr of Antioch and The Golden Legend, his most popular choral work.
He wrote incidental music for West End productions of several Shakespeare plays and held conducting and academic appointments. Sullivan's only grand opera, though successful in 1891, has been revived. In his last decade Sullivan continued to compose comic operas with various librettists and wrote other major and minor works, he died at the age of 58, regarded as Britain's foremost composer. His comic opera style served as a model for generations of musical theatre composers that followed, his music is still performed and pastiched. Sullivan was born in Lambeth, the younger of the two children, both boys, of Thomas Sullivan and his wife, Mary Clementina née Coghlan, his father was a military bandmaster and music teacher, born in Ireland and raised in Chelsea, London. Thomas Sullivan was based from 1845 to 1857 at the Royal Military College, where he was the bandmaster and taught music to supplement his income. Young Arthur became proficient with many of the instruments in the band and composed an anthem, "By the Waters of Babylon", when he was eight.
He recalled: I was intensely interested in all that the band did, learned to play every wind instrument, with which I formed not a passing acquaintance, but a real, life-long, intimate friendship. I learned the peculiarities of each... What it could do and what it was unable to do. I learned in the best possible way. While recognising the boy's obvious talent, his father knew the insecurity of a musical career and discouraged him from pursuing it. Sullivan studied at a private school in Bayswater. In 1854 he persuaded his parents and the headmaster to allow him to apply for membership in the choir of the Chapel Royal. Despite concerns that, at nearly 12 years of age, Sullivan was too old to give much service as a treble before his voice broke, he was accepted and soon became a soloist. By 1856, he was promoted to "first boy". At this age, his health was delicate, he was fatigued. Sullivan flourished under the training of the Reverend Thomas Helmore, Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal, began to write anthems and songs.
Helmore encouraged his compositional talent and arranged for one of his pieces, "O Israel", to be published in 1855, his first published work. Helmore enlisted Sullivan's assistance in creating harmonisations for a volume of The Hymnal Noted and arranged for the boy's compositions to be performed. In 1856 the Royal Academy of Music awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship to the 14-year-old Sullivan, granting him a year's training at the academy, his principal teacher there was John Goss, whose own teacher, Thomas Attwood, had been a pupil of Mozart. He studied piano with William Sterndale Arthur O'Leary. During this first year at the academy Sullivan continued to sing solos with the Chapel Royal, which provided a small amount of spending money. Sullivan's scholarship was extended to a second year, in 1858, in what his biographer Arthur Jacobs calls an "extraordinary gesture of confidence", the scholarship committee extended his grant for a third year so that he could study in Germany, at the Leipzig Conservatoire.
There, Sullivan studied composition with Julius Rietz and Carl Reinecke, c
Florence Nightingale, was an English social reformer and statistician, the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers, she gave nursing a favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. Recent commentators have asserted Nightingale's Crimean War achievements were exaggerated by media at the time, but critics agree on the importance of her work in professionalising nursing roles for women. In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London, it was the first secular nursing school in the world, is now part of King's College London. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour, the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday.
Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were harsh for women, expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce. Nightingale was a versatile writer. In her lifetime, much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge; some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could be understood by those with poor literary skills. She was a pioneer in the use of infographics using graphical presentations of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously. Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May 1820 into a rich, upper-class, well-connected British family at the Villa Colombaia, in Florence, Tuscany and was named after the city of her birth. Florence's older sister Frances Parthenope had been named after her place of birth, Parthenope, a Greek settlement now part of the city of Naples.
The family moved back to England in 1821, with Nightingale being brought up in the family's homes at Embley and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire. Florence inherited a liberal-humanitarian outlook from both sides of her family, her parents were William Edward Nightingale, born William Edward Shore and Frances Nightingale née Smith. William's mother Mary née Evans was the niece of Peter Nightingale, under the terms of whose will William inherited his estate at Lea Hurst, assumed the name and arms of Nightingale. Fanny's father was Unitarian William Smith. Nightingale's father educated her. In 1838, her father took the family on a tour in Europe where he was introduced to the English-born Parisian hostess Mary Clarke, with whom Florence bonded, she recorded that "Clarkey" was a stimulating hostess who did not care for her appearance, while her ideas did not always agree with those of her guests, "she was incapable of boring anyone." Her behaviour was said to be exasperating and eccentric and she had no respect for upper-class British women, whom she regarded as inconsequential.
She said that if given the choice between being a woman or a galley slave she would choose the freedom of the galleys. She rejected female company and spent her time with male intellectuals. However, Clarkey made an exception in the case of Florence in particular, she and Florence were to remain close friends for 40 years despite their 27-year age difference. Clarke demonstrated that women could be equals to men, an idea that Florence had not obtained from her mother. Nightingale underwent the first of several experiences that she believed were calls from God in February 1837 while at Embley Park, prompting a strong desire to devote her life to the service of others. In her youth she was respectful of her family's opposition to her working as a nurse, only announcing her decision to enter the field in 1844. Despite the intense anger and distress of her mother and sister, she rebelled against the expected role for a woman of her status to become a wife and mother. Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing, in the face of opposition from her family and the restrictive social code for affluent young English women.
As a young woman, Nightingale was described as attractive and graceful. While her demeanour was severe, she was said to be charming and to possess a radiant smile, her most persistent suitor was the politician and poet Richard Monckton Milnes, but after a nine-year courtship she rejected him, convinced that marriage would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing. In Rome in 1847, she met Sidney Herbert, a politician, Secretary at War, on his honeymoon, he and Nightingale became lifelong close friends. Herbert would be Secretary of War again during the Crimean War, when he and his wife would be instrumental in facilitating Nightingale's nursing work in the Crimea, she became Herbert's key adviser throughout his political career, though she was accused by some of having hastened Herbert's death from Bright's Disease in 1861 because of the pressure her programme of reform placed on him. Nightingale much had strong relations with academic Benjamin Jowett, who may have wanted to marry her.
Nightingale continued her travels as far as Egypt. Her writings on Egypt in particular are testimony to her learn
In architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. When neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon the architrave and is capped by the moldings of the cornice. A frieze can be found on many Greek and Roman buildings, the Parthenon Frieze being the most famous, the most elaborate; this style is typical for the Persians. In interiors, the frieze of a room is the section of wall above the picture rail and under the crown moldings or cornice. By extension, a frieze is a long stretch of painted, sculpted or calligraphic decoration in such a position above eye-level. Frieze decorations may depict scenes in a sequence of discrete panels; the material of which the frieze is made of may be plasterwork, carved wood or other decorative medium. In an example of an architectural frieze on the façade of a building, the octagonal Tower of the Winds in the Roman agora at Athens bears relief sculptures of the eight winds on its frieze.
A pulvinated frieze is convex in section. Such friezes were features of 17th-century Northern Mannerism in subsidiary friezes, much employed in interior architecture and in furniture; the concept of a frieze has been generalized in the mathematical construction of frieze patterns. Media related to Friezes at Wikimedia Commons "Frieze". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was a British statesman, three-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and, to date, the longest-serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley, he is one of only four British prime ministers. However, his ministries each totalled three years and 280 days. Historian Frances Walsh says it was,Derby who educated the party and acted as its strategist to pass the last great Whig measure, the 1867 Reform Act, it was his greatest achievement to create the modern Conservative Party in the framework of the Whig constitution, though it was Disraeli who laid claim to it. Stanley was born to Lord Stanley and his wife, Charlotte Margaret, the daughter of the Reverend Geoffrey Hornby; the Stanleys were a long-established and wealthy landowning family whose principal residence was Knowsley Hall in Lancashire. Stanley was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1822 Edward Stanley, as he was was elected to Parliament in the rotten borough of Stockbridge as a Whig, the traditional party of his family.
In 1824, however, he alienated his Whig colleagues by voting against Joseph Hume's motion for an investigation into the established Protestant Church of Ireland. When the Whigs returned to power in 1830, Stanley became Chief Secretary for Ireland in Lord Grey's Government, entered the Cabinet in 1831; as Chief Secretary Stanley pursued a series of coercive measures which brought him into conflict with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Anglesey. In October 1831, Stanley wrote a letter, the Stanley Letter, to the Duke of Leinster establishing the system of National Education in Ireland—this letter remains today the legal basis for the predominant form of primary education in Ireland. In 1833, Stanley moved up to the more important position of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, overseeing the passage of the Abolition of Slavery Bill. Stanley, a conservative Whig, broke with the ministry over the reform of the Church of Ireland in 1834 and resigned from the government, he formed a group called the "Derby Dilly" and attempted to chart a middle course between what they saw as the radical Whiggery of Lord John Russell and the conservatism of the Tories.
Tory leader Sir Robert Peel's turn to the centre with the 1834 Tamworth Manifesto, published three days before Stanley's "Knowsley Creed" speech, robbed the Stanleyites of much of the uniqueness of their programme. The term "Derby Dilly" was coined by Irish Nationalist leader Daniel O'Connell. Besides Stanley, the other principal members of the Dilly were Sir James Graham, who had resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty; these four ministers had all come from notably different political backgrounds—Stanley and Graham were old Whigs, Ripon was a former Canningite Tory prime minister, while Richmond was an arch-conservative Tory who had incongruously found himself in the Grey cabinet. Although they did not participate in Peel's short-lived 1835 ministry, over the next several years they merged into Peel's Conservative Party, with several members of the "Derby Dilly" taking prominent positions in Peel's second ministry. Joining the Conservatives, Stanley again served as Colonial Secretary in Peel's second government in 1841.
In 1844 he was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Stanley of Bickerstaffe in his father's Barony of Stanley by Writ of Acceleration. He broke with the Prime Minister again in 1845, this time over the repeal of the Corn Laws, managed to bring the majority of the Conservative Party with him, he thereafter led the protectionist faction of the Conservative Party. In the House of Lords, on 23 November 1847, he accused the Irish Catholic clergy of using the confessional to encourage lawlessness and crime; this was disputed in a series of letters by the coadjutor Bishop of Edward Maginn. In 1851 he succeeded his father as Earl of Derby; the party system was in a state of flux when the Conservatives left office in 1846, the outstanding issues being the question of Ireland and the unresolved franchise. The protectionists had a core of leaders, but in opposition, the party was still in-fighting. Derby formed a minority government in February 1852 following the collapse of Lord John Russell's Whig Government.
In this new ministry, Benjamin Disraeli was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. With many senior Conservative ministers having followed Peel, Derby was forced to appoint many new men to office—of the Cabinet, only three were pre-existing Privy Counsellors; when the aged Duke of Wellington, by very deaf, heard the list of inexperienced cabinet ministers being read aloud in the House of Lords, he gave the government its nickname by shouting "Who? Who?". From this government would be known as the "Who? Who?" ministry. Traditionally Derby's ministries were thought in hindsight to have been dominated by Disraeli. However, recent research suggests that this was not always the case in the government's conduct of foreign policy. There and his Foreign Secretaries, Lord Malmesbury and his son Lord Stanley, pursued a course of action, aimed at building up power through financial strength, seeking to avoid wars at all costs, co-operating with other powers, working through the Concert of Europe to resolve diplomatic problems.
This contrasted with the policy of m
J. M. W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner, known as J. M. W. Turner and contemporarily as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter and watercolourist, he is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent violent marine paintings. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower middle-class family, he lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he served as an architectural draftsman, he earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828, although he was viewed as profoundly inarticulate, he traveled to Europe from 1802 returning with voluminous sketchbooks.
Intensely private and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters and Georgiana, by his housekeeper Sarah Danby, he became more pessimistic and morose as he got older after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, his art intensified. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in London, he left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, 30,000 works on paper. He had been championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Joseph Mallord William Turner was baptised on 14 May, he was born in Covent Garden, in London, England. His father, William Turner, was a wig maker, his mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. A younger sister, Mary Ann, was born in September 1778 but died in August 1783.
Turner's mother showed signs of mental disturbance from 1785 and was admitted to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street in 1799 and was moved in 1800 to Bethlem Hospital where she died in 1804. Turner was sent to his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, in Brentford a small town on the banks of the River Thames west of London; the earliest known artistic exercise by Turner is from this period—a series of simple colourings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell's Picturesque View of the Antiquities of England and Wales. Around 1786, Turner was sent to Margate on the north-east Kent coast. There he produced a series of drawings of the town and surrounding area that foreshadowed his work. By this time, Turner's drawings were being exhibited in his father's shop window and sold for a few shillings, his father boasted to the artist Thomas Stothard that: "My son, sir, is going to be a painter". In 1789, Turner again stayed with his uncle. A whole sketchbook of work from this time in Berkshire survives as well as a watercolour of Oxford.
The use of pencil sketches on location, as the foundation for finished paintings, formed the basis of Turner's essential working style for his whole career. Many early sketches by Turner were architectural studies or exercises in perspective, it is known that, as a young man, he worked for several architects including Thomas Hardwick, James Wyatt and Joseph Bonomi the Elder. By the end of 1789, he had begun to study under the topographical draughtsman Thomas Malton, specialised in London views. Turner learned from him the basic tricks of the trade and colouring outline prints of British castles and abbeys, he would call Malton "My real master". Topography was a thriving industry. Turner entered the Royal Academy of Art in 1789, aged 14, was accepted into the academy a year by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Turner showed an early interest in architecture, but was advised by Thomas Hardwick to focus on painting, his first watercolour, A View of the Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth was accepted for the Royal Academy summer exhibition of 1790 when Turner was 15.
As an academy probationer, Turner was taught drawing from plaster casts of antique sculptures. From July 1790 to October 1793, his name appears in the registry of the academy over a hundred times. In June 1792, he was admitted to the life class to learn to draw the human body from nude models. Turner exhibited watercolours each year at the academy while painting in the winter and travelling in the summer throughout Britain to Wales, where he produced a wide range of sketches for working up into studies and watercolours; these focused on architectural work, which used his skills as a draughtsman. In 1793, he showed the watercolour titled The Rising Squall – Hot Wells from St Vincent's Rock Bristol, which foreshadowed his climatic effects. Cunningham in his obituary of Turner wrote that it was: "recognised by the wiser few as a noble attempt at lifting landscape art out of the tame insipidities... evinced for the first time that mastery of effect for which he is now justly celebrated". In 1796, Turner exhibited Fishermen at Sea, his first oil painting for the academy, of a nocturnal moonlit scene of the Needles off the Isle of Wight, an image of boats in peril.
Wilton said that the image: "Is a summary of all, said about the sea by the artists of the 18th century." And shows strong influence