Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Calm, with Various Vessels, One Firing a Gun

c.1799–1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 135 × 210 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04108
Turner Bequest LXIX 94

Catalogue entry

The group of drawings in this book depicting shipping in a flat calm, this one and folios 94 recto, 99 recto, 115 recto, 119 recto, 123 recto and 124 recto (D04109, D04115, D04133, D04137, D04141, D04142; Turner Bequest LXIX 95, 100, 116, 120, 124, 125) are especially satisfying. They seem to be building gradually towards the grand picture that Turner was to exhibit in 1807 under the title Sun Rising through Vapour; Fishermen Cleaning and Selling Fish (National Gallery, London).1 D04133 with its puzzling inscriptions seems to mark the point at which this sequence was transformed into that subject.
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.53–4 no.69, pl.79 (colour).
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘771’.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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