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Turner’s watercolours often convey the impression of a fleeting moment. By concentrating on the view of the horizon he is able to focus on the transitory apprearance of either the ocean, or the sky, or sometimes both.

Many of the late informal studies of the sea were painted at Margate, where Turner often stayed from the late 1820s. The rooms of his landlady, Mrs Booth, overlooked the harbour and the coast. According to John Ruskin, Turner maintained that the loveliest skies in Europe were to be found around Margate.

April 2005