Long Ship's Lighthouse, Land's End

Object Details

Title:

Long Ship's Lighthouse, Land's End

Artist/Maker(s):

Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775 - 1851)

Culture:

British

Place(s):

Great Britain (Place created)

Date:

about 1834 - 1835

Medium:

Watercolor and gouache, scraped by the artist

Dimensions:

28.6 x 44 cm (11 1/4 x 17 5/16 in.)

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The Romantic painter and draftsman Joseph Mallord William Turner often revealed nature reigning supreme and obliterating human presence. Waves dash to pieces a barely visible ship in a storm several miles beyond Land's End, the westernmost point of England, guarded by a lighthouse called Long Ship's. Aesthetician John Ruskin wrote of this drawing that Turner captured "the whole surface of the sea . . . undirected, bounding, and crashing, and coiling in an anarchy of enormous power."

To convey the experience of nature's turbulence, Turner used the full range of watercolor technique, from transparent washes in the sky to thick bodycolor in the water and rocks. He added highlights to enrich the texture and atmosphere, blotting the wash to reveal the white of the paper in the lighthouse and scratching directly into the paper to render the flecks of light in the waves crashing over the boat. With these bold techniques, Turner came close to modern abstraction in his efforts to expand the expressive and stylistic range of landscape painting.

He made this watercolor for a series of engravings entitled Picturesque Views in England and Wales, published between 1827 and 1838.

Provenance

Frederick Craven of Bakewell (Derbyshire, England)

1895

Christie's (London) [sold, Frederick Craven of Bakewell Sale, Christie's, London, May 18, 1895, lot 38]

July 5, 1912

John Edward Taylor [sold, John Edward Taylor Sale, Christie's, London, July 5, 1912, lot 42]

C. Morland Agnew

Gerald Agnew (Henley-on-Thames, England)

Vice-Admiral Sir William Agnew (Henley-on-Thames, England), by bequest to his widow.

Charles C. Cunningham, Jr. (Williamstown, MA)

1988

Private Dealer (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988.

Exhibitions
International Exhibition (1862) (1015)
  • Exhibition Building (South Kensington), 1862
National Exhibition of Works of Art (1868) (1763)
  • Leeds City Museum and Galleries, (Leeds), 1868
Royal Jubilee Exhibition (May to November 1887) (1763)
  • Exhibition Hall, Old Trafford, (Manchester), May to November, 1887
Winter Exhibition (1891) (83)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1891
Loan Collection of Pictures and Drawings by J.M.W. Turner, R.A. and a Seclection of Pictures by some of his Contemporaries (1899) (144; descriptive and biographical notes by A.G. Temple)
  • Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, April to July, 1899
The British Empire Exhibition (1924) (13)
  • Palace of Arts, Wembley, 1924
British Art (January to March 1934) (893)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January to March, 1934
Centenary Loan Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings by J.M.W. Turner, R.A. (1951) (72)
  • Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., (London), 1951
L'Aquarelle Anglaise 1750-1850 (October 29, 1995 to March 17, 1956) (124; catalogue by P. Oppé)
  • Musée Rath (Geneva), October 29, 1955 to January 4, 1956
  • Cabinet des estampes de l'Ecole Polytechnique fédérale, (Zurich), January 14 to March 17, 1956
Masters of British Painting 1800-1950 (October 1956 to May 1957) (11; catalogue by A.C. Ritchie)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York), October 2 to December 2, 1956
  • Saint Louis Art Museum, (Saint Louis), January 10 to March 2, 1957
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, (San Francisco), March 28 to May 12, 1957
Bicentenary Exhibition [1968 - 1969] (December 1968 to March 1969) (557; catalogue by St. John Gore)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), December, 1968 to March, 1969
La Peinture Romantique Anglaise et les Préraphaelites (January to April 1972) (304; catalogue by M. Kitson et. al.)
  • Musée du Petit Palais, (Paris), January to April, 1972
J.M.W. Turner: Der Maler des Lichts (September to November 1972) (93; catalogue by H. Bock, U. Prinz and A. Wilton)
  • Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, (Berlin), September to November, 1972
Turner, 1775-1851 (November 16, 1974 to March 2, 1975) (431; catalogue by M. Butlin, A. Wilton and J. Gage)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 16, 1974 to March 2, 1975
Turner's Picturesque Views in England and Wales (1979) (73)
  • Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., (London), 1979
European Landscape Drawings of the 15th through 19th Century (October 6 to December 13, 1992) (73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 6 to December 13, 1992
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (112)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (112)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Turner (March 16 to September 10, 1996) (97; catalogue edited by M. Lloyd.)
  • National Gallery of Australia, (Canberra), March 16 to June 10, 1996
Color in Drawing (March 10 to May 24, 1998) (97; catalogue edited by M. Lloyd.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 10 to May 24, 1998
J.M.W. Turner, R.A.: The Great Watercolors (December 2, 2000 to February 11, 2001) (97; catalogue by E. Shanes)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), December 2, 2000 to February 11, 2001
The Prismatic Palette: Four Centuries of Watercolors (October 5, 2004 to January 2, 2005) (97; catalogue by E. Shanes)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 5, 2004 to January 2, 2005
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007) (97; catalogue by E. Shanes)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007
Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings (July 19 to October 23, 2011) (97; catalogue by E. Shanes)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 19 to October 23, 2011
J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free (September 10, 2014 to September 20, 2015) (122)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 24 to May 24, 2015
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Picturesque Views

Lesson in which students observe a watercolor painting depicting a landmark in a dramatic setting. They create their own using watercolor techniques.

Visual Arts

9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson

Related Media
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    AUDIO: LONG SHIP'S LIGHTHOUSE, LAND'S END - LEVEL 1