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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Storm at Sea c.1822-3

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto
Storm at Sea c.1822–3
Turner Bequest CCII 17
Watercolour on paper, 257 x 178 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘17’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCII–17’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In this drawing Turner captures the churning energy of a storm at sea. A sense of motion is created by the interplay of even fields of translucent wash and vigorous dry brush-strokes representing pockets of atmospheric disturbance. Curving brush-strokes and the pooling and merging of wash suggest the swell of the water. The fluid, swirling aspects of the composition are momentarily counteracted by a bold horizontal band of charcoal grey wash emerging at the right in the central register, probably the profile of a headland in the distance. For examples of similar handling in sky studies see Turner’s Old London Bridge sketchbook of 1823–4 (Tate D17883, D17887; Turner Bequest CCV 28, 31).

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Storm at Sea c.1822–3 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-storm-at-sea-r1148306, accessed 27 May 2024.