Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ships in a Choppy Sea

c.1799–1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 135 × 210 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04106
Turner Bequest LXIX 92

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the page turned horizontally, this study perhaps relates to the oil painting The Mouth of the Thames,1 which may have been exhibited in Turner’s Gallery in 1807; it was destroyed in the Second World War. The composition is known from a mezzotint by Sir Frank Short (1857–1945), reproduced by Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll.2 The small boat seen receding from the viewer in the left foreground is common to both the picture and this sketch, as is the choppy water, a departure from the generally calm seas that figure in this book; though see folios 98 recto and 125 recto (D04114, D04143; Turner Bequest LXIX 99, 126) for other more animated marine subjects.
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.52 no.67.
2
Ibid., pl.77.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘748’.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like

In the shop