Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coastal Terrain and Buildings, ?South of France or Italy


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 144 × 188 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCII 18

Technique and condition

This work by Turner is a gouache and watercolour painting on a medium weight grey wove paper. Titled Building above a Harbour this work appears to be a quick, impression that is made up more of shapes than details. The brush strokes seem quite hurried and loose, giving a very sketchy feel to this work. Turner has also worked into the work manually as evident by the fingerprints in the thicker gouache areas. Evident from the water staining on the verso, this work was caught in the 1928 Tate floods. Though some of these stains have migrated through to the recto of the support they are not particularly disfiguring.

Previous attempts to conserve this work are also evident by the partial removal the paper and adhesive from the edges of the verso of the support. Otherwise this work is in quite good condition with the pigments retaining a good deal of their vibrancy.

Jo Gracey
April 2001

Catalogue entry

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