Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sea and Sky


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 431 × 305 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 115

Display caption

Many of the watercolour studies, or ‘colour beginnings’, would have been painted very rapidly. In some instances Turner would have worked on several sheets at once, moving to a similar study while he waited for the paint to dry on another.

This sheet shows two separate seascapes which were never detached from one another. The proximity of the two images and the shared colour palette suggests that Turner worked on them simultaneously. Furthermore, the right hand edge of the paper shows that the sheet was originally even larger and contained additional studies.

Gallery label, July 2008

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