Joseph Mallord William Turner

Clouds, with ?Trees Reflected in Water

c.1823–4

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: 98 x 162 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17886
Turner Bequest CCV 30

Catalogue entry

In this dramatic yet minimal landscape, the apparent reflections of the dark vertical features (presumably trees) dragged down the bare paper on the right are enough to evoke a wide river, a lake or perhaps a flooded lowland landscape in the foreground, beneath scudding dark clouds. This is one of a sequence of fourteen monochrome, tonal studies of landscapes and cloudy skies running from about the middle of the sketchbook onwards; for the others and further discussion, see the Introduction.
This study has been used as an example of ‘Using clouds as composition’1 by the artist Tony Smibert, who loosely paraphrased elements of the compositions in practical demonstration pieces.2

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
Smibert 2010, p.58.
2
See ibid., p.59, pls.1–4.

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