'As a blind person might see the world if the gift of sight were suddenly returned - this is how we might describe the effect of William Turner's paintings on the observer.' John Ruskin, Turner's uncompromising 19th century defender, alluded to this idea when he spoke of an 'innocence of the eye' which perceived the world's colours and forms before it could recognize their significance. But to develop such a style, William Turner first had to overcome the legacy of late rococo academic teachings. He was simultaneously a romantic and a realist - and yet he transcended both styles. His landscapes, far in advance of their time, have been called forerunners or Impressionism, yet they also process traits that influenced Expressionism, and many of his late compositions are undeniably surrealistics. This book explores his work.