In this group of studies Turner has managed to capture the final moments of the sun before it disappears below the horizon at the end of the day. The last seconds appear to have been obscured by a bank of cloud. In the fifth volume of 'Modern Painters' Ruskin analysed a similar, apparently slight sketch of a sunrise, declaring that 'I suppose most persons would not see much in it'. He, nevertheless, drew his readers' attention to the importance of such studies, claiming that they helped to fix in Turner's mind vital information which he was then at liberty to call on in his .
Gallery label, September 2004