Joseph Mallord William Turner



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 85 a

Catalogue entry

The locations of the three subjects on this page, used with the sketchbook turned to the right, have not been identified, but seem not to have been made on Turner’s Edinburgh tour. Instead the top and middle sketch may perhaps be compositions developed from sketches made on his tour of France in 1821. Several other sketches in the book relate to French subjects (see folio 88 verso; D17665), so this too may belong to that series. Two pages of sketches (each page divided into three) in the Paris Seine and Dieppe sketchbook (Tate D18585 and D18586; Turner Bequest CCXI 39 and 39a) showing scenes on a river, though not directly relatable to the current sketches, have a very similar character.
The bottom sketch shows a carefully studied sky with light and dark clouds, a crescent moon and extensive colour notes. These notes exhibit a metaphorical inclination to Turner’s thinking about colour: ‘cold’, ‘warm’, and ‘Blush’ (presumably a pink hue). There is a sustained interest in studying the skies throughout this sketchbook (see folio 3; D17512), suggesting that this study was made during Turner’s Scottish tour.

Thomas Ardill
November 2008

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop