Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sunset or Dawn above a Landscape with Water

c.1826–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 141 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D29026
Turner Bequest CCXCII 75

Display caption

Turner may have painted these sea studies on one of his many visits to the coast in the 1830s. He would have carried large sheets of blue paper with him on his travels. These could be folded and torn into a number of smaller sheets.

Over the course of his career Turner experimented with many different coloured papers. He particularly liked the variety of effects he could achieve with watercolour and gouache applied onto a blue ground. The darker surface allowed him to use white highlights to great effect when painting foaming waves or the reflection of moonlight.

Gallery label, July 2008

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