Joseph Mallord William Turner

Composition Study for ‘Lake of Geneva with Mont Blanc’; Study of a Boat

c.1799–1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 x 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05031
Turner Bequest LXXXI 129

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the upper study is one of a sequence made in preparation for Turner’s large watercolour of about 1805, Lake of Geneva, with Mont Blanc from the Lake (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven);1 see under folio 8 verso (D04917; Turner Bequest LXXXI 16). Turner’s ‘Do’ (for ditto) refers to his inscription ‘L Geneva’ on folio 65 verso opposite (D05030; Turner Bequest LXXXI 128).
The lower sketch is a generalised study of the foremost fishing boat in the painting Dutch Boats in a Gale: Fishermen Endeavouring to Put their Fish on Board (‘The Bridgewater Seapiece’), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1801 (private collection, on loan to the National Gallery, London),2 which is studied in greater detail on folios 62 verso–63 recto and 64 verso–65 recto (D05024–D05025, D05028–D05029; Turner Bequest LXXXI 122–123, 126–127).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.342 no.370, reproduced.
2
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.12–13 no.14, pl.11 (colour).

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