Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunrise at Sea c.1820–30

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Artwork details

Title
Sunrise at Sea
Date c.1820–30
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 298 x 391 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25190
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 68
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Storms often feature as a dramatic and sublime component of Turner’s paintings. In these three watercolours, gathering storm clouds above a menacing sea provide the artist with the opportunity to experiment with contrasting areas of dark and light.

Turner has combined fluid washes with energetic brushstrokes to create a sense of perpetual movement and change in the weather. Each composition preserves a unity between the sky and the water, the energy or stillness of the waves mirroring or balancing the dynamic masses of the clouds.

July 2008

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