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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Sunset or Sunrise ?over Water c.1823-4

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 31 Recto:
A Sunset or Sunrise ?over Water c.1823–4
D17887
Turner Bequest CCV 31
Watercolour on white wove paper, 98 x 162 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘31’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 31’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This elemental study suggests a sunset or sunrise beneath lowering clouds over a watery landscape, with the sun’s reflection lifted out of the wet foreground, leaving finger prints. Vertical strokes dragged through the horizontal bands at the right evoke tall trees. There is a very slight, inadvertent continuation on folio 30 verso opposite (D40964). 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.
Verso:
Blank, save for slight continuations of wash strokes from folio 32 recto (D17888).1

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
See Gerald Wilkinson, Turner’s Colour Sketches 1820–34, London 1975, p.27, where the relevant few millimetres are reproduced with D17888.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Sunset or Sunrise ?over Water 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-sunset-or-sunrise-over-water-r1172601, accessed 17 September 2021.