Joseph Mallord William Turner
Breaking Wave on Beach after c.1830

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Breaking Wave on Beach
Date After c.1830
Medium Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 193 x 280 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36163
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 306
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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.

July 2008

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