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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Storm at Sea c.1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
A Storm at Sea c.1825
Turner Bequest CCXII 13
Watercolour on white wove paper, 114 x 188 mm
Part watermark ‘Al | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXII – 13’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is one of a sequence of twenty-five recto pages of watercolour landscape, sea and sky compositions between folio 9 recto (D18609) and folio 34 recto (D18638), many of which evoke quiet Thames Valley scenes; for a checklist and general comments, see the sketchbook’s Introduction. Here, by contrast, is a vigorous improvisation of a stormy sky and a surging sea, with areas of the paper left blank across the middle to suggest surf or sunlight breaking through; compare the similar treatment on folio 12 recto (D18614). Robert Upstone has noted how ‘Turner’s brisk dry brush makes dragged effects of breaking waves and rolling clouds and perfectly captures a storm’s fury.’1
Upstone 1993, p.146.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Storm at Sea c.1825 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-storm-at-sea-r1172732, accessed 24 June 2024.