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Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the subject is continued on folio 68 recto opposite (D05035; Turner Bequest LXXXI 133). It presents the principal elements in Turner’s ambitious painting of 1805, The Shipwreck (Tate N00476):1 the fishing boat sailing to the rescue of passengers floundering in small life–boats, and, beyond, the tangle of spars, rigging and hull that is the wrecked vessel itself. These ideas are further explored on folios 69 verso–70 recto (D05038–D05039; Turner Bequest LXXXI 136–137).
The picture was probably one of the last to receive his attention in this sketchbook; the ideas for it can be seen here growing organically from his thinking about other marine subjects over the previous five years. One of the first studies in this book is also for The Shipwreck, on folio 1 verso (D04903; Turner Bequest LXXXI 2), under which other sketches are noted.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.43 no.54, pl.64 (colour).
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