Joseph Mallord William Turner
Yacht Approaching the Coast c.1840–5

Artwork details

Yacht Approaching the Coast
Date c.1840–5
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1022 x 1422 mm
frame: 1250 x 1635 x 75 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

In this painting the light in the sky and on the sea dazzles the viewer, obscuring the scene. This visual effect echoes the progress of Turner’s own work on the painting as he returned to areas of the canvas over a period of several years, covering the original subject. Dark shapes that appear through the layers suggest boats, while the buildings on the left have not been definitively identified but may represent Venice. By reworking the canvas, Turner has created less tangible subjects – those of light and colour themselves.

July 2012

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