Joseph Mallord William Turner Rough Sea with Wreckage c.1840–5

Artwork details

Rough Sea with Wreckage
Date c.1840–5
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 921 x 1226 mm
frame: 1074 x 1380 x 80 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
On loan to J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)

Display caption

While parts of this painting such as the flotsam in the foreground are unfinished, the carefully and solidly modelled clouds are well developed. Turner has realised his theme by depicting a break in the clouds at the centre of the sky, through which a shaft of light illuminates an area of calmer waters and a white sail. However, it is uncertain whether the boat has escaped the storm, or is heading into danger.

February 2010

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