Joseph Mallord William Turner

Vessels and Distant Hills


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVI 11

Catalogue entry

On this page are four of the seven small sailing vessels continued from the drawing on folio 10 verso (D13468). These boats exhibit more variety than the three on the opposite page, with the two boats on the left pointing into the picture, and the two on the left pointing to the right. Although the sketches are slight Turner has explored variations in the set of the sails, showing the one on the left close-hauled into the wind, while the second from the right is billowing out with the wind directly behind it. The wind does seem to be in the same direction for all the boats, which give the impression that they are distinct vessels observed together, rather than one or two drawn several times.
This drawing is one of several studies of boats at sail in this sketchbook: folios 2 verso, 3, 4, 6, 8 verso, 9, 10 verso, 11, 45 verso – 46 verso, 48, 51, 52 verso, 53 and 65 verso (D13452, D13453, D13455, D13459, D13464, D13465, D13469, D13538–D13540, D13543, D13549, D13552, D13553, D13576).

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

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