Joseph Mallord William Turner

Clouds above Water at Dawn or Sunset

c.1820–40

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 306 x 487 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25476
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 353

Catalogue entry

The pale blue and pink tints of the clouds and sky suggest sunset, as Finberg thought, or perhaps more likely dawn, reflected in a sheet of open water.
Technical notes:
The sheet is much yellowed from prolonged exposure while on display; the fresher, cooler colours Turner intended are evident to the left and right where the edges were formerly protected by a mount.
Verso:
Blank; no inscriptions. There are slight marks resembling a cat’s paw prints; such animals reportedly roamed Turner’s house and studio1 (compare the verso of Tate D25258; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 136).

Matthew Imms
March 2016

1
See for example James Hamilton, Turner: A Life, London 1997, p.304.

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