Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘The Vision’, for Rogers’s ‘Poems’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 245 x 310 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 204

Catalogue entry

This is an experimental colour study for the finished watercolour The Vision, one of seven illustrations which Turner designed for the ‘The Voyage of Columbus’, the final work in Rogers’s Poems (see Tate D27714; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 197). The rough watercolour sketch shows the dark outlines of Columbus’s three ships sailing on a calm sea, set against a fiery red sky. At the top of the composition, Turner has added in pencil a row of shield-bearing warrior figures. This is probably an early design for the vignette. Comparison with the final scene demonstrates that his concept developed considerably.
Turner produced an additional colour study for The Vision (see Tate D27720; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 203), as well as a compositional pencil drawing of the final design (see Tate D40175).
Inscribed by unknown hands in pencil ‘No Guard’ top centre and ‘32 | b’ centre, and ‘2nd part of CCLXXX 204 – 204 / (In 2 parts)’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX 204’ lower centre right

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

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