Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Transparency: A Moss-Covered Cottage and Shed, with a Man Smoking and a Lantern 1794–5
Watercolour and oil on white wove paper, 331 x 235 mm
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.57, XXVIII H, as ‘A Transparency ... On back, the cottage, &c., darkened with indigo and black, except where light of lantern comes; sunset effect in the sky’. c.1796.
Peter Bower, Turner’s Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1787–1820, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1990, pp.50–1 under no.13, reproduced.
This side of the sheet bears washes intended by Turner to enhance the tonal contrasts of his watercolour design on the recto. Bower notes that Turner does not adopt the usual practice in making transparencies, enhancing the translucency of the paper by applications of varnish; he says that ‘there are slight indications that the paper has been oiled lightly’.
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