Joseph Mallord William Turner
Beach Scene c.1845

Artwork details

Beach Scene
Date c.1845
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 280 x 440 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXV 11
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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In the mid-1840s Turner made a number of watercolour studies of beaches, sea and sky, which are purely exercises for his private satisfaction. Executed in apparently rapid and very fluid washes, in strongly horizontal sweeps, they are remarkable for the feeling of space and freedom they possess. Some also have an atmosphere of loneliness and isolation. Breaking waves, sunsets and storms are the predominant subject matter of these works. Many were probably made on the coast of Kent, where Turner was a frequent visitor. He stayed with Sophia Booth at her Margate boarding house. She became his companion, and in 1846 Turner moved her to his house by the Thames, in what is now Cheyne Walk.

August 2004

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