Earlier this week, we showed you the work of art below and asked you to guess the artist who created it. Thousands of you guessed in our poll, but only a 1/3 of you correctly identified the artist. The watercolor painting called "The Scarlet Sunset" is by Joseph Mallord William Turner.
Turner (1775-1851) was a prominent British landscape painter. Although best known for his large oil paintings, such as "The Fighting Temeraire," he began his career as a watercolorist. He exhibited his first works at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1790, when he was only 15.
Although Turner was inspired by classical painters, including Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, he adapted their style to create Romantic works in which light creates drama to supplement his sublime scenes.
Turner's style and interest in modern technology is exemplified by "Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway," which demonstrates his use of dramatic light, contrasting colors and hazy, thick and expressive brushstrokes, all of which effectively creates the illusion of a fast-moving steam engine locomotive.
A highly influential artist and the inspiration for the Turner Prize for contemporary art, Turner was the original "painter of light" (sorry, Thomas Kinkade). To view more of his works, click through the slideshow below.