Technique and condition

Turner applied his oil paint to a commercially primed canvas. The priming contains lead white and chalk and is pale pink/mushroom in tone. Preliminary layers are painted in thin glazes and scumbles. Over these an opaque white paint, sometimes mixed with other colours has been applied with a palette knife and brush. There are many small, sometimes sharp impasted areas. Preliminary pencil drawing is visible, particularly in the area of the cottage suggesting that this painting may well be at an early stage of Turner's creative process. The grid-like dirt impressions visible on its surface are evidence that the artist stacked his unfinished paintings while they were still wet. The shapes are the impressions of other canvases. It is interesting to speculated whether or not he intended to return to the painting and work it to a higher level of finish at some later stage.

The right hand edge of this painting was severely damaged in the Thames Flood of 1928. As a result the canvas had been lined and the losses filled and retouched. Although the painting is now structurally stable discolouration of the retouching is aesthetically disfiguring.

It is possible that the painting is lighter in appearance than the artist intended, as a result of the fading of light sensitive pigments. The paint medium has a tendency to darken and lighten depending upon the amount of light it is exposed to.

Elizabeth Reissner
February 2001