Joseph Mallord William TurnerSeascape with Storm Coming On c.1840

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Artwork details

Seascape with Storm Coming On
Date c.1840
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 914 x 1216 mm frame: 1122 x 1448 x 82 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Unfinished works, such as this, provide an opportunity to scrutinise Turner's techniques closely. Though the process has been interrupted, these pictures reveal much about how he built up his images.

Turner has begun this work with two distinct areas of colour for sea and sky, washed in very broadly. He used a similar method in the large batch of watercolours known as 'colour beginnings' that he produced from the late 1810s onwards. The lower of the two areas is an extraordinary golden colour, permeated by passages of grey and black. The surface is further animated with light, but very deliberate, touches of white, green and brown.

August 2004

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