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Lisa Hirsch

Oh, you are lucky to be seeing Turner for the first time! They are marvelous, I love them passionately. JMW Turner is my favorite 19th century painter, yes, more than all the French Impressionists put together, I think. I have seen the three you name specifically in person; they are overwhelming. There are a bunch of late Turner canvases where no one is sure if they are studies, works-in-progress, or completed paintings.

He had an interesting life - probably Wikipedia has a good biography. When he died, all of his own art still in his possession went to the British people, which is why there is now a whole wing of the Tate dedicated to him. The one thing that maddens me is that John Ruskin, his executor, evidently destroyed a bunch of Turner paintings he didn't approve of - they were of prostitutes, among other things.

There is a huge Turner show - 145 paintings, I think - coming to the US in the fall. It'll be in DC, among other place. I will probably have to go.

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