As a blind person would see the world if the gift of sight suddenly returned - so might one describe the effect of Turner's paintings on the observer. John Ruskin, the uncompromising nineteenth century defender of the painting of William Turner (1775-1851) spoke of the 'innocence of the eye', which perceives the colors and forms of the world before it recognizes their significance. But in order to develop such a style, Turner first had to overcome the entire legacy of late rococo academic teachings. He was simultaneously a romantic and a realist - and yet he was neither. His landscapes, far in advance of their time, have been called forerunners of Impressionism, but they also posses traits that influenced Expressionism, and many of his late compositions are thoroughly surrealistic.