Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bass Rock from the South-West

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 x 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13342
Turner Bequest CLXV 11 a

Catalogue entry

A view of the Bass Rock drawn with the book inverted. This drawing shows Bass Rock in simple outline with rocks off the coast in the foreground. Rare for drawings in this sketchbook, Turner has included clouds to the left of the island. The clouds are a particular feature of Turner’s watercolour of the Bass Rock for the Provincial Antiquities engraving (circa 1824, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),1 based on sketches in this book and from his 1822 tour. The impulse to draw the clouds here was perhaps what inspired and helped him to paint such elaborate formations in his watercolour. There are very similar views on the next two pages (folios 12, 12 verso; D13343, D13344; CLXV 12, 12a), and Turner depicts clouds in relation to Bass Rock again on folio 35 (D13383; CLXV 35).

Thomas Ardill
October 2006

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1069.

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