Joseph Mallord William Turner A Waterfall 1798

Artwork details

A Waterfall
From North Wales Sketchbook
Turner Bequest XXXIX
Date 1798
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 266 x 171 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXIX 96
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Display caption

Turner used this sketchbook on a tour to North Wales in 1798. It includes several drawings of waterfalls. Their vertical format and compressed compositions create a sense of drama.

It was around 1798 that Turner began to develop a more spectacular and ‘Sublime’ interpretation of the national landscape. This approach shows Turner’s growing intellectual and social ambitions, which could hardly be sustained by the more modest, careful records of ancient buildings he had previously produced.

September 2004

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