Joseph Mallord William Turner
?The Eddystone Lighthouse in a Storm by Daylight c.1813

Artwork details

?The Eddystone Lighthouse in a Storm by Daylight
From Vale of Heathfield Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXXVII
Date c.1813
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 181 x 228 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXVII 39
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Catalogue entry

Along with watercolours on folios 41 recto and 42 recto (D10258, D10260; CXXXVII 40, 41) this study perhaps represents the Eddystone Lighthouse, off Plymouth, which Turner may have visited in 1813, producing a finished watercolour of it at night by 1817. There is a possibly related watercolour of an empty sea and sky on folio 39 verso opposite (D10256; CXXXVII 38).
This dynamic study has been described as ‘of a freedom normally associated with the late 1810s, or even later’,1 but it is here dated to about the former year, assuming Turner visited the lighthouse then and represents it here. There is a fuller discussion under D10258.
The composition is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliated sequence.
Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.66.

Matthew Imms
May 2011

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