Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Overcast Sky above a Landscape

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: 346 × 512 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25178
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 56

Catalogue entry

This composition comprises little more than near-monochrome washes evoking a horizon with a narrow band of bright sky above it, sandwiched between pale brown areas. The landscape is more purposefully worked in the foreground with heavier, sweeping washes giving a sense of recession to the paler distance. The conditions implied may be low cloud or mist, but this is one of the slightest and least developed of Turner’s ‘colour beginnings’.
Technical marks:
There are surface abrasions towards the top left and top right, exposing the white paper beneath. The marks at the bottom left may be test strokes of the brush.
Verso:
Blank; laid down on a similar sheet, trimmed closely all round.

Matthew Imms
March 2016

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