Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sea and Sky

c.1830–45

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 252 x 368 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35985
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 142

Display caption

Turner was one of the first artists to paint the same motif at different times of the day in order to observe the changing effects of light. This group of watercolours repeats the same pictorial formula at sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonlight.

A natural structure is imposed by the simple unbroken line of the horizon separating the composition into a lower and upper plane. Turner reinforces the emphasis on the horizontal by applying the watercolour in bold bands of contrasting colour.

Gallery label, April 2005

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