Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘The Vision’, Rogers’s ‘Poems’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 240 × 296 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 203

Catalogue entry

This is an experimental colour study for the finished watercolour The Vision, one of seven illustrations which Turner designed for ‘The Voyage of Columbus’, the final work in Rogers’s Poems (see Tate D27714; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 197). Although the palette and subject matter of the study are closely related to those of the finished vignette, the two designs differ considerably. The ghost warriors in the sketch are smaller and the procession stretches diagonally, rather than horizontally, across the composition. Furthermore, the high crescent moon on the left was substituted in the final scene for a smaller and more intense globe of light and the velvety blue of the sky was muted in favour of a fierier sunset.
Turner produced one additional colour study for The Vision (see Tate D27721; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 204), as well as a pencil drawing of the final composition (see Tate D40175).
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘32 | a’ centre and ?charcoal marks scattered across sheet
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX 203’ lower centre

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

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