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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Sea, ?with the Moon behind Clouds c.1823-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Sea, ?with the Moon behind Clouds c.1823–6
D17194
Turner Bequest CXCVII D
Watercolour on white wove paper, 242 x 296 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXCVII – D’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The effectively uniform grey foreground presumably indicates the sea, as traditionally supposed,1 while the brightness beyond the ragged upper edge of the dense, silhouetted cloud bank may indicate the moon. Among the canonical ‘Little Liber’ watercolours, compare the effect in Bridge and Monument (Tate D17193; Turner Bequest CXCVII C) in particular.
See also Tate D17196 (Turner Bequest CXCVII F) in the present subsection.
1
See Cook and Wedderburn 1904, p.641, and Finberg 1909, I, p.602.
Verso:
Blank; some irregular creasing. Inscribed in pencil ‘CXCVII – D’ bottom centre; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CXCVII – D’ bottom left.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Sea, ?with the Moon behind Clouds c.1823–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-sea-with-the-moon-behind-clouds-r1183682, accessed 20 May 2022.