Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for Unidentified Vignettes: Mackerel on a Beach

c.1835

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 202 x 153 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25466
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 343

Catalogue entry

The subject of this vignette combines landscape elements with a carefully composed still-life. The scene shows a group of shimmering mackerel and a cluster of mussels arrayed on the shore. In the middle distance, two fishermen are carrying wicker pots or baskets presumably filled with fresh catch, whilst in the background is a magnificent ship with a full complement of sails unfurled. The illustration belongs to a group of four finished designs that Turner produced for an unidentified project (see also Tate D27520; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 3, Tate D27521; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 4 and Tate D25465; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 342). The other designs retain a similar format and depict lobsters and crabs, cod and red snapper, and gurnet, dog fish and plaice respectively. None of the watercolours was ever engraved for publication. For a detailed discussion of the group see Tate D27520; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 3
Verso:
Inscribed by unknown hands in pencil ‘91 | b’ centre right and ‘CCLXIII.343’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII 343’ bottom left

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

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