Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sunset or Sunrise ?over Water

c.1823–4

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 98 x 162 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17887
Turner Bequest CCV 31

Catalogue entry

This elemental study suggests a sunset or sunrise beneath lowering clouds over a watery landscape, with the sun’s reflection lifted out of the wet foreground, leaving finger prints. Vertical strokes dragged through the horizontal bands at the right evoke tall trees. There is a very slight, inadvertent continuation on folio 30 verso opposite (D40964). This is one of a sequence of fourteen monochrome, tonal studies of landscapes and cloudy skies running from about the middle of the sketchbook onwards; for the others and further discussion, see the Introduction.
Verso:
Blank, save for slight continuations of wash strokes from folio 32 recto (D17888).1

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
See Gerald Wilkinson, Turner’s Colour Sketches 1820–34, London 1975, p.27, where the relevant few millimetres are reproduced with D17888.

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