This watercolour is a study for one of
the prints in the Liber Studiorum (Book
of Studies). This was an ambitious publication which Turner hoped would demonstrate the range, and improve
the status, of landscape art.
The prints were divided into six different categories of landscape: pastoral,
epic pastoral, historical, mountainous,
marine and architectural. This is a marine landscape, derived from an oil painting called Ships Bearing up for Anchorage, which Turner exhibited in 1802.