View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Eric Shanes has suggested this work as a variation on the primary ‘Little Liber’ Gloucester Cathedral design1 (see Tate D25430, and also D25368; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 307, 246), while grouping it additionally with sea and sky studies among Turner’s ‘colour beginnings’.2 The similar combination of a low horizon with a tower on the left against a twilight sky seems more than fortuitous, although the treatment has more of the atmosphere of a beach or seascape than the two mentioned above. On that basis, Nicola Moorby has characterised ‘the iridescent hues of the evening sky ... off-set by the dull washes used for the sea and beach below’.3
The grey-brown foreground appears to have been partly lifted with brush strokes while wet.
Blank, save for inscriptions in pencil ‘D25334’, ‘CCLXIII 212’ and ‘[?AB 79 P]’ bottom right. There is sporadic, mottled brown staining at the edges.