Joseph Mallord William Turner
Sunset; Also a Draped Figure c.1832

Artwork details

Sunset; Also a Draped Figure
Date c.1832
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 86 x 111 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXIX a 63 a
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

In this group of studies Turner has managed to capture the final moments of the sun before it disappears below the horizon at the end of the day. The last seconds appear to have been obscured by a bank of cloud. In the fifth volume of 'Modern Painters' Ruskin analysed a similar, apparently slight sketch of a sunrise, declaring that 'I suppose most persons would not see much in it'. He, nevertheless, drew his readers' attention to the importance of such studies, claiming that they helped to fix in Turner's mind vital information which he was then at liberty to call on in his paintings.

September 2004

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