Turner has inscribed this sheet from the 'Ambleteuse and Wimereux' sketchbook 'I shall use this', implying that he considered employing the design for a finished work, perhaps an oil in the series of whaling pictures he produced in 1845-6.
There are two whales in this . One, its tail raised, is diving. The back of the second is indicated by a long, curved line below the tail of the first. A harpoon appears to have struck one of them, for the sea is stained red with blood.
Gallery label, September 2004