THE SUN IS GOD: A Novel about J. M. W. Turner by Michael Noonan

THE SUN IS GOD: A Novel about J. M. W. Turner

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While Whistler, the lesser painter, will be more sharply remembered as an eccentric, captious, contentious public figure, Turner, on the other hand was a quiet, reclusive man -- scarred to some degree by the memories of his mother's madness and his own febrile imbalance. He led his almost private life devoted to the sketching and painting he began as a young boy. It would be almost as consistent as the lowering skies and smoky sunsets of his landscapes were it not for the intrusion of a first mistress Sarah -- a virago who hunted him down with avidity through the years -- or the still more wretched Hannah, a disfigured young woman who lived with her cats and supposedly took care of his paintings until she literally sent some of his major works up the chimney. The only redeeming feature in this story of the mariner-painter came toward the close in the form of Sophie, a comfortable, serene woman who offered him care and comfort and protection so that he could pursue his painting. A responsible portrait of the artist, a rather sad genius and no doubt unfinished man who liberated himself through a larger vision of light and space.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1974
Publisher: Delacorte