Joseph Mallord William Turner

Diagram of a Boat on Water and the Sun, Indicating Cast Shadows and Reflections


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 x 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVIII 79

Catalogue entry

The drawing is part of a sequence of notes and diagrams which continues back through the sketchbook to folio 72 verso (D07473). The text continues from the opening passage, on the verso (D07487), to folio 78 verso opposite (D07485), and the diagram relates to passages on the latter page and folio 77 verso (D07483). There is a similar (apparently unfinished) diagram on folio 78 recto (D07484), and a related diagram of a river bank on folio 76 recto (D07480). The semi-diagrammatic drawing on folio 81 verso (D07491) also appears to belong with these notes, concerned with sunlight or light in general in terms of reflections and the casting of light and shadow from polished objects or bodies of water. They relate to Turner’s fifth Royal Academy perspective lecture, on reflection and refraction.
Maurice Davies has registered most of the notes from folio 91 verso (D07511) to folio 72 verso as ‘on light and shadow’;1 those from folio 91 verso to folio 82 verso (D07493) are distinct, dealing with sunlight as parallel or divergent rays.

Matthew Imms
June 2008

Davies 1994, p.289.

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