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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Beddgelert Church: Moonlight 1798

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 64 Recto:
Beddgelert Church: Moonlight 1798
Turner Bequest XXXVIII 92
Watercolour and stopping- and scraping-out with gum arabic on white wove paper, 229 x 332 mm
Blind-stamped lower left with Turner Bequest monogram
Stamped in black ‘XXXVIII 92’ bottom left, descending vertically
The dense blacks and use of gum Arabic testify to Turner’s preoccupation here with atmosphere; his previous essays in nocturnal lighting were rarely so extreme. Although the moon breaking through cloud is the focus of the design, his real subject is the overpowering presence of the mountains and the profundity of their shadows. Another drawing probably made at Beddgelert and equally sombre in tone, is folio 71 recto (D01337; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 83).
Blank; a few paint smears; inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Bedk’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Beddgelert Church: Moonlight 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 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-beddgelert-church-moonlight-r1173204, accessed 28 May 2020.