Joseph Mallord William Turner

Totland Bay, Isle of Wight, Looking towards the Needles

1795

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 204 x 264 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00450
Turner Bequest XXIV 42

Catalogue entry

This is the basis for an untraced watercolour,1 engraved by John Landseer for an unpublished work of about 1799 and published by Bohn in 1852 as ‘Alum Bay with the Needles’. See also folio 42 recto (D00449; Turner Bequest XXIV 41). In the year following this tour Turner exhibited his first oil painting at the Royal Academy, Fishermen at Sea (Tate T01585),2 which includes a moonlit view of the Needles. Apart from the slight study of an isolated rock on folio 41 recto (D00448; Turner Bequest XXIV 40), however, this is the only drawing he seems to have made recording the group.
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally.
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.319 no.180.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.1–2 no.1, pl.1 (colour).
Verso:
Blank; colour offsets from folio 44 recto opposite (D00451; Turner Bequest XXIV 43); stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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