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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A Sail against a Stormy Sky c.1823-4

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Recto:
?A Sail against a Stormy Sky c.1823–4
Turner Bequest CCV 26
Watercolour on white wove paper, 98 x 162 mm
Watermark ‘1821’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘26’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 26’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With great economy, Turner has evoked what is probably a bright sail against a threatening sky by the simple but deft means of leaving the blank paper to represent the shape. Wet pigment has been lifted at the top left to evoke brighter clouds. This is one of a sequence of fourteen monochrome, tonal studies of landscapes and cloudy skies running from about the middle of the sketchbook onwards; for the others and further discussion, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?A Sail against a Stormy Sky c.1823–4 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, 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-sail-against-a-stormy-sky-r1172593, accessed 29 November 2021.