Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of Sea

c.1820–30

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 143 x 217 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25437
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 314

Display caption

Turner often used the technique of brushing a second colour onto wet paper before the first wash has dried, known as ‘wet in wet’, in his sea studies. In particular he employs it to great effect when painting a changing sky where one colour diffuses into another.

He also drives the wet watercolour around the paper with his brush or his fingers so that the direction of the paint echoes the restless energy of the waves and the transient patterns of the sky.

Gallery label, April 2005

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