Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sunset over the Sea; Coastal Features


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and graphite on paper
Support: 172 x 70 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLV 11

Catalogue entry

Orientated in accordance with the foliation, the horizontal pencil markings across the top are a continuation of a rough sketch of a headland found on folio 10 verso opposite (D35353). With the page turned horizontally, a faint chalk drawing of a sunset is visible towards the centre right. Above the sun and extending to the left of the page are fine streaks of chalk suggesting delicate cirrus clouds. A miniature sketch in pencil and chalk at the top right of the page (separated by a curved pencil border) also seems to depict the very basic forms of a sunset. It may be that this sketch is successive to the principal chalk drawing on this page, depicting a different phase in the progression of the sunset. Compare Turner’s page of sketches in his King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D17512; Turner Bequest CC 3) where he recorded the progression of the rising sun on a horizon.

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2013

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