Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Study of a Cloudy Sky above a River Scene, Probably on the Thames Upstream from London


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 102 × 160 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLIII 6

Catalogue entry

The subjects from folio 3 recto (D10778) to here await positive identification, but the views of Southwark Bridge preceding them (see under folio 1 recto; D10775) and the subsequent sketch of Greenwich on folio 7 recto (D10783) suggest that they are all likely to be River Thames scenes around London. Here, with the page turned horizontally, there appear to be buildings indicated on the skyline at the centre, with reflections in the river in the foreground. Turner has annotated the cloudy sky with various colours, with ‘orange’ perhaps suggesting sunset, making this a view westwards. There are similar notes on folio 4 recto (D10779).
For Gerald Wilkinson’s comments on the style and dating of this and other pages in the sketchbook, see under folio 4 recto (D10779).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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