The art of Australian painter James Alfred Turner (1850 - 1908)
The life and works of Australian painter James Alfred Turner (1850 – 1908). Turner recorded in painstaking detail the life and daily pursuits of the small rural settler in the ranges to the north and north east of Melbourne the capital of the State of Victoria, Australia. At the time this was “battlers country”, life was hard and pleasures simple. Turner was quite prolific and his style instantly recognisable. Like S.T. Gill who became famous for his paintings of life on the Victorian Goldfields, Turner seems to have set out to record a specific facet of Victorian life. He painted mainly rural scenes and recorded faithfully the typical rural “situations” of the day. Art contemporaries and critics of the time were not kind. He has been referred to by some as an illustrator. Photography was alive and well in Turners time, yet no camera could have captured the spirit of an age and lifestyle like he did. He should be studied and valued for this skill alone. This was his great unrecognised contribution to Australian art and sociology. Turner died just over 115 years ago and from this distance he needs to be viewed in a new light. His critical contemporaries, so obsessed by the impressionist “flavour of the day” looked only at his style as an artist and missed totally what he was trying to achieve. This website is dedicated to bringing him true recognition for supplying a unique window on Australian pioneering history.. Rutherford James Browne, Coffs Harbour, Australia. Updated - Version: 3.00 April 2024
This website has been designed as a resource to gather and present in one readily accessible place as much as can be gleaned about this important recorder of Australian Colonial History. Information and in particular further photographs of Turners paintings are most welcome.
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