Paris museum pins hopes on exhibition of the English artist Turner

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The exhibition, Turner and the Masters, which arrives in Paris after its inauguration at Tate Britain last autumn and before moving on to Madrid this summer, has sparked unprecedented fervour for the English landscape painter.

The French press has devoted pages to the “precursor of modernity”. At least four biographies of Turner have been published to coincide with the exhibition and the television channel Arte is to screen a documentary on him next week.

The French Union of National Museums (RMN), which is organising the exhibition at Le Grand Palais, in Paris, described Turner as “one of the greatest artists of the 19th century”, noting his “dazzling freedom” and “remarkable vision”. Pierre Wat, the French art historian, called him a “total artist”.

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