ARTIST OF THE WEEK: J. M. W. Turner, 1775-1851

Easily one of the greatest English artists of all time, Joseph Mallord William Turner was a painter of the Romanticist movement, specialising in landscapes and seascapes. His work is considered to be crucial to the formation of Impressionism, which in turn led to a contemporary focus on abstraction, after the work of the Post-Impressionists. I suppose what I am trying to say is that because of his influence on artists such as Monet and Whistler, Turner’s role in the birth of modernism should not be overlooked.

In 1984, the first annual Turner Prize was organised by and held at the Tate Britain. The award was named in honour of Turner and has become a greatly successful, albeit famously controversial, award ceremony. It has become increasingly associated with conceptual art, a far cry from the work of our master landscapist, and recent winners have included video and sound artists.

Sometimes I like to tell people than Turner is my great-x7 grandfather (because my surname is Turner, not because I think people are quite that gullible). A girl can dream ..