Joseph Mallord William Turner Church Spire with Storm Clouds c.1823–4

Artwork details

Church Spire with Storm Clouds
From Old London Bridge Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCV
Date c.1823–4
Medium Ink wash on paper
Dimensions Support: 103 x 167 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCV 32
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

The monochrome studies in this sketchbook may be related to a group of mezzotints Turner produced in the first half of the 1820s, which are generally known as the 'Little Liber'. Watercolour designs are now known for most of the mezzotints; one is included in this display. However, while the engraved compositions are all painted in colour, the studies in this book explore similar subdued and occluded lighting effects in a more limited tonal range. This study, with its architectural motif set against bright light under a heavy sky, partly anticipates one of the prints from the 'Little Liber' series, which has been tentatively identified as a view of 'Gloucester Cathedral'.

September 2004

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