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Turner may have made this study of driving rain as the preliminary stage for a more finished watercolours. This was often his practice with the subjects engraved in the series of Picturesque Views in England and Wales (1825-38). It has been suggested that the scene is Lancaster Sands, which was known for its dangerous tides and quicksands, and was recorded by Turner in two watercolours full of local incident (now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; and the British Museum). However, the colours and structure of this design could also relate to the England and Wales view of St Michael's Mount in Cornwall (University of Liverpool).

August 2004