Family Life And Affairs
Turner's personal life was highly private, and as he grew older, he became more eccentric.
He had few close friends, but he was devoted to his father, who lived with him for 30 years and assisted him in the studio, as a cook, and as a gardener. In 1804, his mother died, most likely in a Bethlem insane asylum. Turner struggled with depression following his father's death in 1829. Although he was never married, he fathered two daughters, Eveline and Georgianna, with an older widow, Sarah Danby. "Woman is doubtful love," Turner wrote in one of his sketchbooks, and there is some evidence that the true mother of his daughters was Sarah Danby's niece, who worked as his housekeeper for a time. Later, posing as 'Mr. Booth' in Sophia Caroline Booth's Chelsea home, he had an affair with her.
The Reflexive Art
Turner later travelled to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark, and Czechoslovakia.
He sketched continuously throughout his travels, and approximately 19,000 sketches from these journeys were included in his bequest. His paintings evolved into more fluid, atmospheric, and sparsely detailed works. Turner's paintings reflected his reaction to the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Turner's innovative style in these later paintings drew public criticism, but in Modern Painters, John Ruskin, an English art critic and longtime supporter of Turner's work, defended him (1843-60). Turner's final Royal Academy exhibition took place in 1850. Turner died in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, on December 19, 1851, and is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.