Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sea and Sky

c.1825–30

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 345 × 486 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25486
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 363

Display caption

Storms often feature as a dramatic and sublime component of Turner’s paintings. In these three watercolours, gathering storm clouds above a menacing sea provide the artist with the opportunity to experiment with contrasting areas of dark and light.

Turner has combined fluid washes with energetic brushstrokes to create a sense of perpetual movement and change in the weather. Each composition preserves a unity between the sky and the water, the energy or stillness of the waves mirroring or balancing the dynamic masses of the clouds.

Gallery label, April 2005

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