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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Clouds over a Low Horizon c.1820-40

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Clouds over a Low Horizon c.1820–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 375b
Watercolour on white wove paper, 608 x 487 mm
Watermark ‘J Whatman | Turkey Mills | 1819’
Inscribed in red ink ‘cclxiii 375’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 375’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This cloud study does not readily belong with the compositions of low hills, woods, lakes and rivers with occasional bridges and towers in the present section, but since it shares a sheet with a river view (Tate D25498; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 375a) which has been given precedence, it is of necessity included here. Most watercolour studies focusing on the sky, the sun and cloud formations are dealt with in a separate section of the present catalogue.
Technical notes:
This design shares the same face of a single sheet with D25498 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 375a), in other respects a completely separate study; the dimensions given here are for the overall sheet, but each composition effectively measures 304 x 487 mm. Finberg suffixed the overall Turner Bequest number CCLXIII 375 with ‘(b)’ and ‘(a)’ respectively,1 and the sheet was consequently given two correlating Tate ‘D’ accession numbers to go with his two titles.
Turner probably worked on the two halves at different times and with different colour schemes, possibly with the sheet folded, although no conspicuous creasing is now evident; the tops of the design are at the outer edges, so that they are inverted relative to each other. Some ‘colour beginnings’ have a stray band of watercolour at one long edge, indicating that the artist was in the habit of working in this way and then separating the two halves, for example Tate D25509 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 385). There are also occasional further cases of two or even three sky or landscape studies in bands across one sheet, for example Tate D25253 and D25241 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 131, 119).
Finberg 1909, II, p.844.
Blank; somewhat rubbed and soiled.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Clouds over a Low Horizon c.1820–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, 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-clouds-over-a-low-horizon-r1183231, accessed 18 April 2024.