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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner An Overcast Sky above a Landscape c.1820-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
An Overcast Sky above a Landscape c.1820–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 56
Watercolour on white wove paper, 346 x 512 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘56’ bottom right (faint)
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 56’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This composition comprises little more than near-monochrome washes evoking a horizon with a narrow band of bright sky above it, sandwiched between pale brown areas. The landscape is more purposefully worked in the foreground with heavier, sweeping washes giving a sense of recession to the paler distance. The conditions implied may be low cloud or mist, but this is one of the slightest and least developed of Turner’s ‘colour beginnings’.
Technical marks:
There are surface abrasions towards the top left and top right, exposing the white paper beneath. The marks at the bottom left may be test strokes of the brush.
Blank; laid down on a similar sheet, trimmed closely all round.

Matthew Imms
March 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘An Overcast Sky above a Landscape c.1820–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-an-overcast-sky-above-a-landscape-r1183188, accessed 13 July 2024.