Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sea and Sky

c.1820–30

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 149 x 251 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25416
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 293

Display caption

Turner often used the technique of brushing a second colour onto wet paper before the first wash has dried, known as ‘wet in wet’, in his sea studies. In particular he employs it to great effect when painting a changing sky where one colour diffuses into another.

He also drives the wet watercolour around the paper with his brush or his fingers so that the direction of the paint echoes the restless energy of the waves and the transient patterns of the sky.

Gallery label, April 2005

Catalogue entry

This is one of a large number of sketches on loose sheets of paper depicting coastal terrain and seagoing vessels in various combinations. For the grouping and dating of these works to the middle and later periods of Turner’s career, see the section introduction.
Verso:
Pencil notes obscured by the mount.

John Chu
June 2015

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