Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Reel People: Timothy Spall is J.M.W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in 1774 to William Turner a barber and wig maker. He had a younger sister Mary Ann who died at the age of 4 in 1783.
Then in 1785 he was sent to live with his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Turner who lived on the river Thames. As early as this time, young Turner started drawing and his father would sell his pictures in his shop.
Before entering the Royal Academy of Art in 1789 he was busy as doing pencil sketches and water color work as well as working for architects. Turner did all sorts of work at the academy, and exhibited watercolors each year at the academy. In 1796 he exhibited his first oil painting, Fisherman at Sea.
Into the next decades his career as a painter continued to take off and he traveled through out Europe, studied at the Louvre, and became a member of society with friends like parliament member Walter Fawkes and George Wyndham, the Earl of Egremont.
Also during this time he had a relationship with a woman either older widow, Sarah Danby or her neice Hannah Danby. Regarless, he was never married, but believed to have had two daughters with one of these woman born in 1801 and 1811, Eveline and Georgiana.
Also during the early days after the Royal Academy his father would come and live with him. His father would live with him for 30 years working as his studio assistant. When his father died in 1829 Turner was impacted by episodes of deep depression. Turner who's paintings were increasingly respected also had fewer friends and developed increasingly eccentric behavior. Hannah Danby during these years also became Turner's housekeeper.
In 1851 Turner would die at the home of his mistress Sophia Caroline Booth in Chelsea, where his last words are said to have been "The sun is God."
The film Mr. Turner tells the story of the eccentric painter in the last 25 years of his life, including the impact of the death of his father, his relationship with his housekeeper, his social life, and his time with his mistress.
In addition to Timothy Spall playing the part of the famous romantic landscape painter, his father is played by Paul Jessen, his housekeeper Hannah Danby is played by Dorothy Atkinson, and his mistress Sophia Booth is played by Marion Bailey.
Timothy Spall already won the Palm d'Or for his role in his film will he also get an Academy Award nomination or perhaps even a win for his portrayal of this Real (Reel) Person.