In 1805 Turner took a holiday exploring the Thames, and its tributary the Wey, by boat. The tour inspired an outstanding body of oils painted directly from nature. Working from his boat, he painted two sets of oil sketches, a series on mahogany that are evidently private works, and a group of larger studies on unstretched sheets of canvas prepared with an off-white ground; the canvas was carried rolled, and tacked over a frame or board while he painted. Turner's pictorial vision is evident in all these sketches, but those on canvas were painted to a standard exhibition size and thoroughly resolved compositionally, suggesting that Turner was experimenting with beginning pictures outdoors.
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Joseph Mallord William Turner (41,861)