Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sea and Sky

c.1830–45

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 252 x 368 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35985
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 142

Display caption

Turner was one of the first artists to paint the same motif at different times of the day in order to observe the changing effects of light. This group of watercolours repeats the same pictorial formula at sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonlight.

A natural structure is imposed by the simple unbroken line of the horizon separating the composition into a lower and upper plane. Turner reinforces the emphasis on the horizontal by applying the watercolour in bold bands of contrasting colour.

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.
Technical Notes:
Light brown and grey staining around the edges of the sheet.
Verso:
Pencil notes reading ‘AB 144 P.O’ and ‘ccclxiv’. Stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCCLXIV – 142’.
Technical Notes:
Light brown and grey staining across the sheet.

John Chu
June 2015

Read full Catalogue entry

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