J.M.W. Turner was an original and prolific painter who produced effects such as dissolving form, rendering diaphanous expanses of light, and using colour with subtlety and control. Turner used not only his powers of natural observation, but was also intensely involved with the culture of his times, using landscape as a vehicle for ruminations on society, politics, and the human condition. This work assesses the range and complexity of Turner's work, investigating his artistic and literary influences and interpreting his political views. However, it focuses primarily on describing the evolution of his approach techniques - from his early detailed topographical watercolours to his later almost abstract paintings, which foreshadowed modernism.