Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Transparency: A Moss-Covered Cottage and Shed, with a Man Smoking and a Lantern


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 331 × 235 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXVIII H

Display caption

This drawing, together with 'Moonlight Through Trees' (also displayed on this wall), has the additional interest of being a 'transparency'. Such pictures, for which there developed a vogue during the mid-1790s, were intended to offer two effects; one when seen ordinarily and a second, more dramatic, when a light source is placed behind the sheet. The latter method of viewing usually invests the image with the romantic glow of moonlight and/or firelight. The adjacent photograph shows the drawing as it appears when lit from behind.

Gallery label, September 2004

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop