Joseph Mallord William Turner
Yellow Sky over a Grey Sea 1844

Artwork details

Yellow Sky over a Grey Sea
From Lucerne Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCCXLV
Date 1844
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 228 x 325 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLV 2
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Turner used this sketchbook on his last trip to Switzerland. He began the book twice, at first making a group of three sky studies, including this one, most probably as he crossed the Channel. Then, once he had reached Lucerne, he painted his sketches of Mount Rigi at the other end of the book. The use of a simple combination of yellow and grey washes effectively recreates the light of dawn, at the moment before sunrise.

September 1995

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