Turner seems to have used the process of making 'colour studies' as a means of establishing how a particular lighting effect would clothe the outline shapes of his topographical material, in a sense allowing light to define . These loose studies were an interim stage between the sketches he made on the spot and his finished . For example, this is one of two colour studies showing the coast at Granville in Normandy. Both works are derived from sketches in the 'Coutances and Mt St Michel' sketchbook (TB CCL) and are characterised by the radiant light of sunset falling across the bay. However, despite making a promising start, Turner is not known to have produced a finished watercolour of this view.
Gallery label, September 2004
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