Joseph Mallord William Turner

Constance: Sample Study


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 242 × 311 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 288

Display caption

In 1842 Turner set out to obtain commissions for a group of ten watercolours based on the sketches he had made on his journey to Switzerland the previous year. The 'sample studies' included in this exhibition were intended to give Turner's prospective clients some idea of the more developed watercolours he hoped to complete and sell. All but two of the 1842 watercolours were of Swiss subjects, the exceptions being the views of 'Coblenz' (see no.8) and 'Constance'. The glowing stillness of this study failed to tempt any of his patrons to give Turner a commission. Nevertheless, Turner worked up a watercolour for his agent, Thomas Griffith, who later sold it to Ruskin (now in York City Art Gallery).

Gallery label, August 2004

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