Timothy Spall’s Turner is magnificent being. He growls, mumbles. With te passion tat inspired Turner Tinoth Spall makes it impossible not to be fascinated by him. With Spall working his way through a 19th-century England recreating the actual JMW Turner, who was born in 1775 and died in 1851?
The real Turner was more handsome and elegant, in his own eyes. Spall’s Turner says that “when I look in the mirror, I see a gargoyle”. Real Turner, when he was about 24 years old – much younger than in the film – looking in the mirror and sees a handsome, fiercely perceptive youth, his wide open eyes seeing everything.
It is those eyes that contain the true Turner. It is in their fiery vision of nature, myth and history that all his secrets can be found.