The subject is continued on folio 46 recto opposite (D04991; Turner Bequest LXXXI 89); offsetting has made it difficult to read the composition. This is the stormiest of the preparatory studies for Ships Bearing up for Anchorage (‘The Egremont Seapiece’) of 1802 (Tate T03868, displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex)1 that occur in this sketchbook; the others are on folios 33 verso–34 recto, 34 verso–35 recto and 37 verso–38 recto (D04966–D04967, D04968–D04969, D04974–D04975; Turner Bequest LXXXI 64–65, 66–67, 72–73).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll suggest that the ‘Egremont Seapiece’ depicts ‘a stormy sky and turbulent sea’,2 whereas in fact, despite the motion in the foreground waves, it is a work of tranquillity and serene balance. The lowering sky of this study is not reproduced in the finished work.
There is heavy offsetting from folio 46 recto opposite (D04991; Turner Bequest LXXXI 89).