Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Dutch Boats in a Gale: Fishermen Endeavouring to Put their Fish on Board (“The Bridgewater Seapiece”)’

c.1799–1801

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05020
Turner Bequest LXXXI 118

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the subject is continued on folio 61 recto opposite (D05021; Turner Bequest LXXXI 119). It shows only a portion of the shipping in the picture painted for the Duke of Bridgewater, Dutch Boats in a Gale: Fishermen Endeavouring to Put their Fish on Board (‘The Bridgewater Seapiece’), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1801 (private collection, on loan to the National Gallery, London):1 the vessels in the far distance and the sunlit coast beyond them, all modified in the finished work.
Finberg considered this drawing ‘so bald and empty and so unlike the final result that one would not connect the study with picture did it not bear Turner’s inscription’.2 For related studies in this sketchbook, see under folio 54 verso (D05008; Turner Bequest LXXXI 106).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.12–13 no.14, pl.11 (colour).
2
Finberg 1910, p.45.

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