I have lately been reading Modern Painters, and I have derived from the work much genuine pleasure and, I hope, some edification; at any rate it made me feel how ignorant I had previously been on the subject which it treats. Hitherto I have only had instinct to guide me in judging of art; I feel now as if I had been walking blindfold — this book seems to give me eyes. I do wish I had pictures within reach by which to test the new sense. Who can read these glowing descriptions of (J. M. W.) Turner’s works without longing to see them? However eloquent and convincing the language in which another’s opinion is placed before you, you still wish to judge for yourself. I like this author’s style much; there is both energy and beauty in it: I like himself too, because he is such a hearty admirer. He does not give Turner half-measure of praise or veneration; he eulogizes, he reverences him (or rather his genius) with his whole soul. One can sympathize with that sort of devout, serious admiration (for he is no rhapsodist) one can respect it; and yet possibly many people would laugh at it. I am truly obliged to Mr. Smith for giving me this book, not having often met with one that has pleased me more.
- Charlotte Brontë, on Modern Painters, Vol. 1 (1843), by John Ruskin. Letter to W. S. Williams (31 July 1848) The Letters of Charlotte Brontë
Frosty Morning was painted from a scene that Turner had witnessed in Yorkshire and when Claude Monet saw the painting decades later, he declared that Turner had painted it with “wide-open eyes.”
Charlotte Brontë wrote in 1848 to WS Williams on reading Ruskin’s Modern Painters.
A year later on 5 December she sent a letter to her father from London:
‘I have seen the pictures in the National Gallery. I have seen a beautiful exhibition of Turner’s paintings’.carefully distinguishing one from the other (as Heather Glen notes in Charlotte Brontë: The Imagination in History OUP 2002). On 14 February 1850 she wrote to her friend Margaret Wooler of having seen
‘one or two private collections of Turner’s best water colour drawings’ as well as ‘his later oil-paintings’. turnerintottenhamWhat became the first volume of Modern Painters (1843), published by Smith, Elder & Co. under the anonymous but authoritative title, "A Graduate of Oxford," was Ruskin’s response to Turner’s critics. wiki/John_Ruskin
Paintings of Turner. google/Turner