Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of Sky

1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D19845
Turner Bequest CCXVI 147 a

Catalogue entry

These hurriedly executed and rather scrappy jottings of a cloudy sky and landscape with tower mark the beginning of Turner’s passage away from the Rhine valley towards Liège in Belgium. Cecilia Powell writes that the artist took a diligence over land to reach the Belgian city, the bumpy journey and fast pace of travel accounting for the scribbly, disjointed nature of his drawings (see, for example, Tate D19846–D19869; Turner Bequest CCXVI 148–157a).1 Turner’s inscriptions here are difficult to read, and sometimes illegible. They appear to be comments on the colour and tone of sky: the ‘Cold Clouds’, for example, and the ‘very Cold Light’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

1
Powell 1991, p.43.

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