Joseph Mallord William Turner

Clouds over Water: Moonlight

1796

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Medium
Watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 108 x 126 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00828
Turner Bequest XXX 87

Catalogue entry

The nocturnal theme echoes that of Turner’s first exhibited oil paintings, shown at the Royal Academy in 1796 and 1797: Fishermen at Sea (Tate T01585)1 and Moonlight, a Study at Millbank (Tate N00459).2
Finberg appears to have recorded this subject as the recto; see the Technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction. The blank recto is stamped in brown ink with the Turner Bequest monogram, inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘87’ and stamped in black ‘XXX 87’ at the bottom right.

Andrew Wilton
May 2011

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.1–2 no.1, pl.1 (colour).
2
Ibid., p.2 no.2, pl.2 (colour).

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