Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Town, with Yellow Sky


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 193 x 281 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXVII 6

Technique and condition

This is a pencil and watercolour composition on a medium to heavy weight, grey coloured wove paper. There is no watermark. The quickly executed pencil underdrawing was applied first and then the paint layers were added. In this picture the colour of the paper has been used to great effect. Most of the foreground is only in pencil and has little or no paint application. The rest of the picture, with the exception of the sky, is lightly executed in watery washes. In contrast the sky has a thicker paint application. An underbound white gouache has been applied first, followed by a layer of watery but pigment rich yellow watercolour. An underbound black gouache has been used at both edges of the composition to add lowlights.
The contrast between the areas of minimal media application and those of intense, heavy colour creates the dramatic effect in this image. This work is in quite good condition with the colours retaining much of their vibrancy.

Helen Evans
April 2009

You might like