Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of Clouds and Coast, Probably on Voyage North to Edinburgh


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 1

Catalogue entry

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).

Thomas Ardill
July 2008

Finley 1981, p.81.

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