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Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 290 x 437 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36307
Turner Bequest CCCLXV 17

Display caption

The modern concept of abstraction would not have been understood or endorsed in the nineteenth century, even by an artist as experimental as Turner. He would not have intended these late, loose colour beginnings to have been exhibited during his lifetime.

Nevertheless, in each of these works the elements of the composition are reduced to the barest representation of sea and sky. These private, informal studies reveal Turner’s intuitive ability to think of landscape in terms of pure colour.

Gallery label, April 2005

Catalogue entry

This is one of a large number of sketches on loose sheets of paper depicting coastal terrain and seagoing vessels in various combinations. For the grouping and dating of these works to the middle and later periods of Turner’s career, see the section introduction.
Verso:
Pencil note reading ‘CCCLXV,17.’. Stamped in black ink with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCCLXV – 17’.
Technical Notes:
Grey marks and spots of blue watercolour.

John Chu
June 2015

Read full Catalogue entry

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