Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of a Waterfall, Tivoli

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 253 × 200 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15481
Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 15

Catalogue entry

One of the greatest natural spectacles at Tivoli was the multitude of waterfalls caused by the waters of the River Aniene plunging into the valley to the north of the town. Turner has exploited the dark washed grey ground of this sketchbook page to create a swift study of one of the cascades. He has rendered the impression of falling water and fine spray by rubbing or lifting out the watercolour wash to reveal the white paper beneath. Soft, dark pencil-work in the bottom right-hand corner provides the suggestion of rocks. Similar naturalistic effects can be found throughout this sketchbook, particularly on folio 28 (D15495), and in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (D16146–D16147; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 58–9).

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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