Joseph Mallord William Turner

Women and Girls, Perhaps by the Sea

c.1825

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 188 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18597
Turner Bequest CCXII 2

Catalogue entry

In August 1825 Turner was abroad in the Low Countries, and it is possible that some of the women and girls here, in somewhat exotic bonnets, were observed there, although drawings on nearby pages show the familiar scene from the top of Richmond Hill (see the Introduction). Despite Finberg’s characterisation of the drawing as ‘on the seashore’,1 there is no indication of the setting except a slight vertical which might suggest the mast of a sailing boat such as those apparently shown on folio 1 recto (D18595).
The scene is animated by the presence of a lightly worked, pale blue watercolour sky, although it is unclear whether this or the figures came first. From folio 9 recto (D18609) onwards there is a lengthy sequence of sky and landscape studies in watercolour alone.
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.646.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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