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Turner's sketching expedition along the Thames and Wey in 1805 produced a group of larger studies in oil, on unstretched canvas prepared with an off-white ground. The canvas was carried rolled, and tacked over a frame or board while he worked. Using a thick, soft brush, and very dilute pigments he painted a set of landscape studies on his standard, smaller exhibition size. While carefully resolved compositionally, these seem to be experiments in beginning pictures out of doors, suggesting that Turner was attempting to bring a greater naturalism into his appreciation of English landscape.

August 2004