Joseph Mallord William Turner

Diagram of a Boat on Water with the Sun’s Reflection


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 x 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVIII 78

Catalogue entry

The drawing is part of a sequence of notes and diagrams which begins on folio 79 verso (D07487) and continues back through the sketchbook to folio 72 verso (D07473). The text continues from the verso (D07485) to folio 77 verso opposite (D07483), and the diagram relates to passages on both pages. It appears to be an unfinished version of the similar diagram on folio 79 recto (D07486); there is also a related diagram of a river bank on folio 76 recto (D07480). The semi-diagrammatic drawing on folio 81 verso (D07491) also appears to belong with these notes, concerned with sunlight or light in general in terms of reflections and the casting of light and shadow from polished objects or bodies of water. They relate to Turner’s fifth Royal Academy perspective lecture, on reflection and refraction.
Maurice Davies has registered most of the notes from folio 91 verso (D07511) to folio 72 verso as ‘on light and shadow’;1 those from folio 91 verso to folio 82 verso (D07493) are distinct, dealing with sunlight as parallel or divergent rays.

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1994, p.289.

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