Mr Turner is a Mike Leigh film which chronicles the life of the artist J. M. W. Turner; played by Timothy Spall. Joseph Mallord Turner, to give him his name in full, was an English painter famous for his landscapes. When J.M.W. Turner died, in 1851, he bequeathed a large number of his paintings to the nation. “The entire bequest – most of which is now housed in the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain – comprises nearly 300 oil paintings and around 30,000 sketches and watercolours, including 300 sketchbooks”. So it is no little surprise to learn that much of the Mr Turner production team’s research into the work of J.M.W. Turner took place at Tate Britain.
The film Mr Turner was released in conjunction with a major new exhibition of his work. J.M.W. Turner Painting Set Free, edited by David Blayney Brown and others, is a wonderful new addition to the art collection of the library. The book was published to accompany the exhibition which began in September 2014 at Tate Britain (with the title Late Turner: painting Set free) moved on to The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, in February 2015 , and will end its travels at the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in September 2015.
For more information:
- Read a review of Mr Turner by Peter Bradshaw.
- Hear Film Director Mike Leigh in discussion with Francine Stock about his film Mr. Turner at Tate Britain
- Read a review of the Tate Britain exhibition by Peter Conrad
- Read a review of The J. Paul Getty Museum exhibition by Christopher Knight