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  • A compulsive draftsman, Turner invariably traveled with a sketchbook. On his death, he left in his studio 290 sketchbooks, which formed a significant part of his bequest to the British nation (now housed at Tate, London). Just five sketchbooks outside of the Turner Bequest are recorded, including this one, which Turner seems to have used in the mid-1840s, when he was living mostly in Chelsea with a widow named Sophia Booth; it apparently remained with Mrs. Booth after his death in 1851. Bound in red leather, and in immaculate condition, the pocket-sized sketchbook, which still bears the label of the London stationer Pillsworth, contains vivid drawings in watercolor and graphite of the sea, shore, and sky, some obviously recording observations made on the spot and others more likely drawn from Turner’s imagination, such as his sketches of whale hunts. The date and location of the views depicted remain uncertain, but the dates of June 9 and July 24 are inscribed on two of the sketches, and Andrew Wilton (1986, p. 9) has suggested convincingly that Turner may have used the sketchbook along the British coast near Folkestone and possibly at Boulogne in the summer of 1845. Turner, who typically drew with great speed and economy, seems to have worked through the sketchbook in one direction, making watercolor drawings on the right-hand leaves, and then to have turned it upside down, working from back to front. The sketchbook contains a sequence of thirteen graphite drawings, annotated with color notes, which apparently record the progress of a single sunset over the sea. According to John Ruskin, who inventoried the Turner Bequest, this was Turner's “last sketchbook”; it seems unlikely that Turner would have abandoned a lifetime’s habit of drawing out of doors during the last five years of his life, despite his failing health, but if this is indeed the last, it is a compelling testament to the artist’s insatiable curiosity about the world and his penetrating powers of observation (Wilton, 1986, p. 9).
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  • A compulsive draftsman, Turner invariably traveled with a sketchbook. On his death, he left in his studio 290 sketchbooks, which formed a significant part of his bequest to the British nation (now housed at Tate, London). Just five sketchbooks outside of the Turner Bequest are recorded, including this one, which Turner seems to have used in the mid-1840s, when he was living mostly in Chelsea with a widow named Sophia Booth; it apparently remained with Mrs. Booth after his death in 1851. Bound in red leather, and in immaculate condition, the pocket-sized sketchbook, which still bears the label of the London stationer Pillsworth, contains vivid drawings in watercolor and graphite of the sea, shore, and sky, some obviously recording observations made on the spot and others more likely drawn from Turner’s imagination, such as his sketches of whale hunts. The date and location of the views depicted remain uncertain, but the dates of June 9 and July 24 are inscribed on two of the sketches, and Andrew Wilton (1986, p. 9) has suggested convincingly that Turner may have used the sketchbook along the British coast near Folkestone and possibly at Boulogne in the summer of 1845. Turner, who typically drew with great speed and economy, seems to have worked through the sketchbook in one direction, making watercolor drawings on the right-hand leaves, and then to have turned it upside down, working from back to front. The sketchbook contains a sequence of thirteen graphite drawings, annotated with color notes, which apparently record the progress of a single sunset over the sea. According to John Ruskin, who inventoried the Turner Bequest, this was Turner's “last sketchbook”; it seems unlikely that Turner would have abandoned a lifetime’s habit of drawing out of doors during the last five years of his life, despite his failing health, but if this is indeed the last, it is a compelling testament to the artist’s insatiable curiosity about the world and his penetrating powers of observation (Wilton, 1986, p. 9).
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  • Alternate title :: Study of Clouds
  • Bibliograpic reference ::
  • Dimension height :: 10.2cm
  • Dimension height :: 9.5cm
  • Dimension width :: 15.9cm
  • Dimension width :: 16.8cm
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Behold the Sea
  • Exhibition :: Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art
  • Exhibition :: The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 222, C 43, Sh- 2
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Object type :: watercolor
  • Subject Concept :: channel (water body component)
  • Subject Concept :: marine art
  • Subject Concept :: sketchbook
  • Subject Concept :: sketches
  • Subject Place :: Boulogne
  • Subject Place :: English Channel
  • Subject Place :: Europe
  • Subject Place :: Folkestone
  • Subject Place :: France
  • Subject Place :: La Manche
  • Subject Place :: United Kingdom
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  • ...
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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?:label
  • The Channel Sketchbook
?:type