Book Description: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Britain's greatest and most mysterious artist, was the son of a Convent Garden barber and a woman who died in Bethlehem mental hospital. During his lifetime (1775-1851), Turner achieved fame and fortune for a range of work encompassing seascape and landscape, immensely powerful oil paintings and intimate watercolors. His friend and colleague C. R. Leslie remembered him thus: "Turner was short and stout, and had a sturdy, sailor-like walk. He might be taken for the captain of a steamboat at first glance; but a second would find more in his face than belongs in any ordinary mind. There was the peculiar keenness of expression in his eye that is only seen in men of constant habits of observation." For this new biography, the first comprehensive narrative of Turner's life in a generation, Anthony Bailey has searched through the archives, studied the scholarly literature, made use of much research done in the last thirty years, and looked at almost all of Turner's sketchbooks as well as many of his paintings and watercolors. He has uncovered fresh material and put together other facts, previously known, to shed new light on those complicated and secretive man. Anthony Bailey has set out to write a biography of the man, not a book about his paintings, and J.M.W. Turner comes vividly to life in theses pages. Both reclusive and gregarious, private and vainglorious, tough and vulnerable, a long-tern bachelor who fathered two daughters, Turner was full of contradictions, and Anthony Bailey rises masterfully to the challenge of describing them here.