Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Rock in the Sea, with the Sun (or Moon) among Clouds

1795

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 204 x 264 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00448
Turner Bequest XXIV 40

Catalogue entry

A very slight sketch, difficult to interpret, this is possibly connected with the oil painting Fishermen at Sea of 1796 (Tate T01585).1 The rock might be one of the Needles, a string of pointed rocks in the sea off Alum Bay at the westernmost tip of the Isle of Wight; they appear in the background of Fishermen at Sea. Since the painting is a night piece, it is possible that the indication of a disc among clouds here represents the moon rather than the sun. See also folio 43 recto (D00450; Turner Bequest XXIV 42).
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally.
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.1–2 no.1, pl.1 (colour).
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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