J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Exhibition Watercolours 1804–15

From the entry

As Turner’s reputation grew in the years after 1800, he exhibited fewer watercolours relative to oil paintings and sold more of those he did show, so that very few exist in the Bequest at all and only three from the period 1804–15. In 1804, the Society of Painters in Watercolour was formed, reflecting and further advancing a trend for large and elaborate watercolours that challenged oil painting in scale and ambition. Although Turner’s close friend William Frederick Wells was instrumental in founding the Society, Turner did not show there himself, preferring to show watercolours along with oils in his own new Turner’s Gallery, also opened in 1804, and at the Royal Academy. The three works catalogued here were all shown at the Academy. One of these, D04158, is likely to have been a collaboration between Turner and the animal painter Sawrey Gilpin, a fellow Royal Academician who had supported Turner’s first attempt to become an Associate of the Academy in 1798.
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D03639, D04158, D04900
Turner Bequest LX H, LXX G, LXXX G
As Turner’s reputation grew in the years after 1800, he exhibited fewer watercolours relative to oil paintings and sold more of those he did show, so that very few exist in the Bequest at all and only three from the period 1804–15.
In 1804, the Society of Painters in Watercolour was formed, reflecting and further advancing a trend for large and elaborate watercolours that challenged oil painting in scale and ambition. Although Turner’s close friend William Frederick Wells was instrumental in founding the Society, Turner did not show there himself, preferring to show watercolours along with oils in his own new Turner’s Gallery, also opened in 1804, and at the Royal Academy. The three works catalogued here were all shown at the Academy.
One of these, D04158, is likely to have been a collaboration between Turner and the animal painter Sawrey Gilpin, a fellow Royal Academician who had supported Turner’s first attempt to become an Associate of the Academy in 1798.

David Blayney Brown
August 2013

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Exhibition Watercolours 1804–15’, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/exhibition-watercolours-r1147468, accessed 28 May 2017.