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Like Turner's famous painting of the 'Fighting Temeraire', the composition of this watercolour is divided equally, focusing as much on the watery morning light as on the group of vessels on the right-hand side. One of the strengths of the image lies in the subtle range of reflected colour falling across the water. However, when the image was translated into black and white as a mezzotint, Turner decided to introduce a floating buoy to this open expanse, thereby providing a more tangible resting point for the viewer's eye, a formula he also repeated in the 'Temeraire'.

September 2004