Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Cloudy Sky, ?with a Sunset

c.1823–4

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 98 x 162 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17901
Turner Bequest CCV 39

Catalogue entry

This is the last of a sequence of fourteen monochrome, tonal studies of landscapes and cloudy skies running from about the middle of the sketchbook onwards; for the others and further discussion, see the Introduction. The present work is perhaps the most improvisational and unresolved in its energetic vortex of pigment, worked with extremes of wet and dry handling around the rough, blank central disk of the sun. Vertical strokes to its left evoke tall trees, but otherwise there are no clear markers in this composition, more evocative of a magnetic field than a conventional landscape.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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