Joseph Mallord William Turner

Beach

c.1830–45

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 219 x 270 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36004
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 160

Display caption

These watercolours share a common palette of grey, black, blue and olive-green backgrounds interspersed with fluid bands of pink, yellow or blue. Turner may have painted the sheets one after the other, using the same few colours ready mixed on his palette.

Working in this way freed Turner from the conventions of watercolour painting and enabled him to experiment with new methods. In On the Sea Shore he seems to have created dots of colour by flicking a brush loaded with paint against the paper.

Gallery label, July 2008

Catalogue entry

This is one of a large number of sketches on loose sheets of paper seeming to depict coastal terrain. In this particular sketch, it has been suggested that the scenery depicted may belong to Austria or the Italian Lakes due to the Austrian make of the paper.1 For the grouping and dating of these works to the middle and later periods of Turner’s career, see the section introduction.
1
Peter Bower, Turner’s Later Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1820–1851, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.82 note 1.
Verso:
Marked with watercolour across sheet.

John Chu
June 2015

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