1 of 43 portraits of J.M.W. Turner
- Extended Catalogue Entry
by J.M.W. Turner
watercolour, circa 1790
3 3/4 in. x 2 3/4 in. (95 mm x 70 mm) oval
Given by William Cosmo Monkhouse in memory of, 1902
Sitterback to top
- Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Landscape painter. Sitter associated with 43 portraits, Artist associated with 4 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Landscape painter. Artist associated with 4 portraits, Sitter associated with 43 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 625
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 71 Read entry
Turner was one of the major masters of colour and a forerunner of Impressionism. This typically unassuming miniature, of the great artist as a boy, belonged to John Ruskin, who was told that, when asked to make a self-portrait, Turner had said, 'it is no use taking such a little figure as mine; it will do my drawings an injury; people will say such a little fellow as this can never draw' (Ann Dart, cited in Ruskin XIII, p 473). It is one of three self-portraits. Most other existing portraits of him are surreptitious drawings and caricatures, made by fellow artists, who respected his diffidence and reluctance to sit formally.
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 505
Events of 1790back to top
Current affairsAttempts to modify the Test and Corporation Acts are defeated, despite campaigning by dissenters such as the prominent Unitarian preacher and pamphleteer, Richard Price. The Acts prevented those outside the established church from holding government or military office.
Art and scienceJoseph Mallord William Turner exhibits his first painting at the Royal Academy; a watercolour of The Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth.
The Firth to Clyde and Oxford to Birmingham canals are begun.
InternationalEdmund Burke publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France. A landmark work of opposition to the Revolution which offered a critique of the radical philosophy behind events in France; the Reflections have been read as an articulation of the foundations of modern British conservatism. George Vancouver explores the north west coast of America.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.