Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Ships Bearing up for Anchorage (“The Egremont Seapiece”)’

c.1799–1802

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 x 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04990
Turner Bequest LXXXI 88

Catalogue entry

The subject is continued on folio 46 recto opposite (D04991; Turner Bequest LXXXI 89); offsetting has made it difficult to read the composition. This is the stormiest of the preparatory studies for Ships Bearing up for Anchorage (‘The Egremont Seapiece’) of 1802 (Tate T03868, displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex)1 that occur in this sketchbook; the others are on folios 33 verso–34 recto, 34 verso–35 recto and 37 verso–38 recto (D04966–D04967, D04968–D04969, D04974–D04975; Turner Bequest LXXXI 64–65, 66–67, 72–73).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll suggest that the ‘Egremont Seapiece’ depicts ‘a stormy sky and turbulent sea’,2 whereas in fact, despite the motion in the foreground waves, it is a work of tranquillity and serene balance. The lowering sky of this study is not reproduced in the finished work.
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.17 no.18, pl.14 (colour).
2
Ibid.
Technical notes:
There is heavy offsetting from folio 46 recto opposite (D04991; Turner Bequest LXXXI 89).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like