J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Cloudy Sky c.1815-18

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 34 Recto:
A Cloudy Sky circa 1815–18
Turner Bequest CXLI 34
Pencil on white wove paper, 88 x 114 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil with colour notes ‘Warm Red brown’, ‘Yellow Brown’, Light, ‘Blue’ ‘Cold’ and ‘Warm Blue’ within image
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘34’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXLI 34’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Continued on folio 33 verso of the sketchbook (D10642). Although most of the other skies in this book appear to have been drawn at Richmond, and this may be no exception, it is worth noting that the cloud pattern and colouring observed here by Turner are a fairly close match to the sky painted in The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (Tate N00499)1 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817. Given the presence of a composition study for the picture on the previous double-spread, folios 32 verso–33 (D10640–D10641) it seems possible that Turner took some hints from this drawing.

David Blayney Brown
July 2011

Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘A Cloudy Sky c.1815–18 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-cloudy-sky-r1131696, accessed 25 October 2021.