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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.
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).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.