Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Cloudy Sky, with Rain

c.1820–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 302 × 434 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25261
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 139

Catalogue entry

The upper half of this barely developed composition shows heavy cloud, apparently with strokes at the top centre indicating rain; the lower half is effectively blank, although it may fortuitously serve to evoke the sky reflected in water.
Technical notes:
There is brown staining at the lower right. Finberg noted that this sheet, Tate D25255, D25259 and D25260 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 133, 137 and 138), respectively a landscape and two sky studies (addressed elsewhere in the present section), are all of the same dimensions and may have been leaves of a sketchbook.1 In the light of this, Eric Shanes has noted that D25260 bears an 1811 watermark, and has discussed various possibilities regarding the dating of D25259 from the late 1810s on.2 A generic date of c.1820–40, as noted in the Introduction to this subsection, has nevertheless been retained for the present work.
1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.825.
2
See Shanes 1997, p.91 note 7.1
Verso:
Blank; laid down.

Matthew Imms
March 2016

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