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This rather rough and smudged sketch shows a stretch of coast or hilltop with a windmill or church, above which is a dramatic cloudy sky. As Gerald Finley has speculated, this sketch is probably one of those made from a boat during Turner’s sea journey to Edinburgh.1 The artist travelled to and from Edinburgh by boat and recorded much of the coastline between the two points (see folio 1a; D17509), as well as making various studies of the sea and sky in different weather conditions and times of day. With its lack of topographical specificity, but abundant detail in the sky, this sketch appears to belong to this second area of interest. Studying the skies was a sustained interest during this visit to Edinburgh, with sketches of weather effects, and the appearance of clouds and the sun over the sea throughout this sketchbook (see folio 3; D17512).
Finley 1981, p.81.