Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Ships at Sea

c.1799–1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 135 x 210 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04105
Turner Bequest LXIX 91

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the page turned horizontally, this is one of several sketches in this book associated with the evolution of Ships Bearing Up for Anchorage (‘The Egremont Seapiece’) of 1802 (Tate T03868, on display at Petworth House, Sussex);1 others are on the rectos of folios 29, 30, 31 and 32 (D04023–D04026), and folio 89 recto (D04104; Turner Bequest LXIX 90). Here the layout of the final composition is clearly adumbrated, with a cluster of ships superimposed at the right, and a three-master seen broadside on at the left. There are studies relating to the three-master on folios 39 verso, 40 verso and 41 verso (D04041, D04043, D04045).
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.17 no.18, pl.14 (colour).
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘766’.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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