Joseph Mallord William Turner A Beginning after c.1830

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Artwork details

Title
A Beginning
Date After c.1830
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 219 x 270 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36004
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 160
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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These watercolours share a common palette of grey, black, blue and olive-green backgrounds interspersed with fluid bands of pink, yellow or blue. Turner may have painted the sheets one after the other, using the same few colours ready mixed on his palette.

Working in this way freed Turner from the conventions of watercolour painting and enabled him to experiment with new methods. In On the Sea Shore he seems to have created dots of colour by flicking a brush loaded with paint against the paper.

July 2008

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