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

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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
D05024
Turner Bequest LXXXI 122

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this drawing continues on folio 63 recto opposite (D05025; Turner Bequest LXXXI 123). Turner’s ‘Do’ (for ‘ditto’) refers to the inscription ‘Study for the Duke of Bridgewater’s Picture’ on folio 64 verso (D05028; Turner Bequest LXXXI 126).
This is one of the most developed of the sequence of studies for the picture of Dutch Boats in a Gale: Fishermen Endeavouring to Put their Fish on Board (‘The Bridgewater Seapiece’; private collection, on loan to the National Gallery, London),1 that Turner painted for the Duke of Bridgewater and showed at the Royal Academy in 1801. Here, as A.G.H. Bachrach points out, the incipient collision between the two foreground boats is clearly depicted.2 For related drawings 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
See A.G.H. Bachrach, ‘Turner’s Holland’, Dutch Quarterly Review of Anglo–American Letters, vol.6, 1976, p.98 onwards.

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