William Ralph Turner

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William (Bill) Turner was born in 1920 in Manchester in poor circumstances, and left school at 14 to take a series of odd jobs.
His family had an unsubstantiated belief that they were descended from the famous landscape artist Joseph Mallord William Turner, and at 17 William Turner painted a small version of a JMW Turner landscape for his studio wall
Although Turner and the most famous exponent of ‘Northern art’, L.S.Lowry, knew each other, Turner disliked being placed in the same category as Lowry.
For about 60 years Turner painted the North West and surrounding areas, often from memories and images obtained while indulging his passion for cycling long distances.  A prolific painter, he painted thousands of pictures, including several hundred that featured the Stockport Viaduct.
He was discovered by Peter Burdett (of The Pitcairn Gallery) in the 1970s.  Peter commissioned him to paint Lyon in France.
He continued to find fame, recognition and some fortune in the 1980s when he had exhibitions in Windsor and Eton.
He was re discovered by David Gunning, an art dealer from Todmorden, in 2000, when Turner was 80.  Over the next five years Gunning sold as many as 3000 Turner paintings, starting a process by which interest in and prices for his work began to rise dramatically.
Parkinson’s Disease eventually forced Turner to stop painting.  Turner died in 2013, having lived to, as some critics put it, ‘step out from Lowry’s shadow’, and enjoy widespread acclaim

WILLIAM R TURNER F.R.S.A. R.Cam.A (1920-2013)