Joseph Mallord William Turner

Twilight over the Waters

c.1820–30

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

Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 251 x 381 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25338
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 216

Display caption

Turner was one of the first artists to paint the same motif at different times of the day in order to observe the changing effects of light. This group of watercolours repeats the same pictorial formula at sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonlight.

A natural structure is imposed by the simple unbroken line of the horizon separating the composition into a lower and upper plane. Turner reinforces the emphasis on the horizontal by applying the watercolour in bold bands of contrasting colour.

Gallery label, July 2008

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