Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Cloudy Sky

1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05488
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 29 v

Catalogue entry

Not listed or described by Finberg, who presumably never saw it as the recto (D05487; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 29) was then on national tour in the First Loan Collection.1 With the sketchbook inverted, Turner has drawn a cloudy sky similar to that which forms the backdrop of his picture The Victory Returning from Trafalgar, possibly shown at Turner’s Gallery in 1806 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut);2 see Introduction to the sketchbook for a discussion of the picture. The recto has a port view of Victory related to the picture, there is another on folio 18 (D05489; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 30) and a starboard view appears on folio 16 verso (D05486; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 28a). In fact the sky study, unique to the book, is the most likely confirmation of the relationship of these drawings to each other and to the picture.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

1
For the First Loan Collection see Ian Warrell, ‘R.N. Wornum and the First Three Loan Collections: A History of the Early Display of the Turner Bequest Outside London’, Turner Studies, vol.11, no.1, Summer 1991, p.39.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.46–7 no.59 (pl.69).

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