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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Rain Cloud Breaking at Sea ?near Boulogne 1845

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Recto:
A Rain Cloud Breaking at Sea ?near Boulogne 1845
Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 13
Gouache, pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 230 x 326 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ bottom right
Blind stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards centre
Stamped in black ‘CCCLVIII 13’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Like folio 5 recto (D35408; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 6), this sketch captures the appearance of storm clouds breaking over sea. Here a rocky cliff face and sea are picked out in delicate pinks and yellow washes, leaving it to the dense purple-brown cloud formations to assume the more substantial mass. Intense downpours are indicated by parallel downward strokes while highly saturated brush-strokes worked wet-on-wet describe the dark central formations of the rain cloud, ignoring or obscuring distinctions between land, sea and sky.
Blank, except for patches of watercolour transferred from folio 13 recto opposite (D35416;
Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 14).

John Chu
November 2013

How to cite

John Chu, ‘A Rain Cloud Breaking at Sea ?near Boulogne 1845 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-rain-cloud-breaking-at-sea-near-boulogne-r1173516, accessed 25 October 2021.