View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This elemental evocation of a rainbow over a bright landscape has been noted in passing by Eric Shanes as possibly related to a colour study (Tate D25272; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 150)1 for the Ports of England watercolour design Plymouth (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon);2 as the rainbow in that subject rises to the right, and it is usually dated to about 1825 in relation to its being engraved in 1828 (Tate impression: T04835), the 1828 watermark of the present sheet seems to preclude a direct connection. Nevertheless, just as in D25272, the bright colours of the rainbow itself are evoked by a contrast of a simple undeveloped arc of warm ochre against the cool blues of the sky. Compare also the full rainbow in Tate D17182 (Turner Bequest CXCVI R), watermarked 1816.
The sheet is darkened and stained at the bottom right corner.
Blank; inscribed by John Ruskin in pencil ‘AB 150 P | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 174’ bottom right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 174’ bottom right.
There is some heavy brown staining.