Joseph Mallord William Turner

Beddgelert Church: Moonlight

1798

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 229 x 332 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01346
Turner Bequest XXXVIII 92

Catalogue entry

The dense blacks and use of gum Arabic testify to Turner’s preoccupation here with atmosphere; his previous essays in nocturnal lighting were rarely so extreme. Although the moon breaking through cloud is the focus of the design, his real subject is the overpowering presence of the mountains and the profundity of their shadows. Another drawing probably made at Beddgelert and equally sombre in tone, is folio 71 recto (D01337; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 83).
Verso:
Blank; a few paint smears; inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Bedk’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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