Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bay on the Coast with Stormy Sky, possibly Ramsgate

c.1822–8

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 170 x 240 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25405
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 282

Catalogue entry

In the absence of any identifying features it is difficult to decipher the exact location Turner represents in this drawing, however Turner scholar Eric Shanes has proposed that it may be either a study for Ramsgate in the Ports of England series (Tate D18150; Turner Bequest CCVIII Q) or a sea and sky study.1
The sea is rendered with shades of blue, grey, and pale green wash heightened with a trace of dilute red at the bottom. These colours have been applied onto saturated paper, allowing them to merge and diffuse into gentle gradients. A band of dark blue sharply defines the horizon. The sky is more vigorously handled, with gestural hatching of grey and blue wash to suggest cloud formations.
The drawing was produced on the same sheet as another seascape because, as Gerald Wilkinson points out, part of the top of this drawing appears at the top of the drawing which would have been positioned to its left (Tate D25404; CCLXIII 281).2
1
Shanes 1997, pp.100 Appendix I ‘Ports of England Series’, 101 Appendix I ‘Sea Sketches and Studies’, 102 Appendix I ‘Sky Sketches’.
2
Wilkinson 1975, pp.124, 125 (top) reproduced in colour.
Verso:
Stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLXIII–282’ at top right; inscribed in pencil ‘D25405’ (inverted) at top left and ‘68’ at centre.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore