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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Commentary on Jacob van Ruisdael's 'Burst of Sunshine' ('Coup de Soleil') (Inscription by Turner) 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 22 Verso:
Commentary on Jacob van Ruisdael’s ‘Burst of Sunshine’ (‘Coup de Soleil’) (Inscription by Turner) 1802
Turner Bequest LXXII 22a
Inscribed by Turner in black ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper prepared with a grey wash, 128 x 114 mm
Stamped in black ‘LXXII–22a’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As Finberg surmised, Turner’s remarks refer to Ruisdael’s picture, known as the ‘Coup de Soleil’ since at least 1804 when it was so described in Filhol’s Musée de France.1 For the picture and Turner’s copy, see folio 81 of this sketchbook (D04380). Turner’s notes read:
Landscape by G Rysdael | a fine colourd grey picture, full of truth | and finely treated as to light which falls | on the middle ground all beyond is of a deep ton’d greyish green. The sky rather | heavy but well managed, but possesses [Finberg: usurps] too much | of the Picture and the light. The objects near to | the light are poor and ill judged particularly about the Windmill inclin’d to be chalky. | The foreground dark violently so near the bright light that gives a crudeness inconsis | tent with the purity of the distance the | base of the picture particularly happy as | a grey tone that easies the Eye and gently glides into the shadows (somewhat the | color of the paper) The figures are by Bergem | but they do not accord with the general | tone of the picture Fortunately they are placed | in the defective part of the piece and therefore [continued on folio 23 (D04299)] create some kind of interest.
Slive notes but is inclined to dismiss the tradition that the figures in the picture were added by Nicolaes Berchem.2 Filhol, on the other hand, ascribed them to Philips Wouverman. For Turner’s other copies and commentaries after Ruisdael in this sketchbook, see the double-page spread on folios 14 verso–15 (D04289–D04290), and folio 23 (Tate D04299).

David Blayney Brown
July 2005

Antoine Michel Filhol, Galerie du Musée de France, Paris 1804–15, vol.I, 12th livraison, p.5 reproduced.
Slive 2001, pp.347–8.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Commentary on Jacob van Ruisdael’s ‘Burst of Sunshine’ (‘Coup de Soleil’) (Inscription by Turner) 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2005, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-commentary-on-jacob-van-ruisdaels-burst-of-sunshine-coup-de-r1129706, accessed 13 June 2024.