Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for a Sea Piece, with Small Boats in Choppy Water


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk on paper
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXXI 99

Display caption

This sketchbook contains studies in pencil, pen and ink and chalk for a number of Turner’s early exhibited marine oil paintings. The sketches draw on his imagination as well as recording Turner’s own experiences of being at sea.

In 1802, a brief lull in the Napoleonic Wars permitted travel to France and Turner was able to cross the Channel for the first time. Energetic drawings of waves and spray point to the arduous nature of sea travel at this time. On one page of the book he notes that rough seas ‘nearly swampt’ the passengers disembarking at Calais.

Gallery label, April 2005

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

This is a continuation of the drawing on folio 50 verso opposite (D05000; Turner Bequest LXXXI 98), under which the subject is discussed.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop