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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Wreck on the Goodwin Sands: Sunset
Watercolor and traces of black chalk and pencil
Inscribed, in pencil, And [dolphins?] play around the wreck / The man's [hope?] holding all that hoped / admits [work? waste?] of the almighty's hand [feeling? failing?] fallacy Hope [illegible] far sail / Wreck on the Goodwins
9 1/16 x 13 1/16 inches (230 x 332 mm)
Bequest of Alice Tully; 1996.67
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This sheet is probably from one of Turner's sketchbooks, quite possibly from one of much the same size that he used in 1845. Both the extreme freedom with which the watercolor is applied and the color of the sky support the late dating of this work. The Goodwin Sands are off the Kentish coast opposite Deal and Walmer, and it is likely that Turner spent some time at Margate in 1845 before a short visit to France. Additional interest is provided by some lines in Turner's hand that must come from his manuscript poem "Fallacies of Hope."

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.