J.M.W. Turner

The 'Skies' Sketchbook



ISBN: 9781849764902 Category:


Turner’s sketchbooks were private things which he kept to himself. They might live for some time in his coat pockets or travel bags, to be pulled out as need arose. In the studio, they served as memory banks for future work.

Besides many watercolor studies of sky effects, the sketchbook reproduced within this unique publication also includes pencil sketches of places in London and the surrounding area. Turner drew and painted sky, clouds, and weather all his life. As a boy he liked to go up to Hampstead Heath in North London, lie on his back to draw the sky, and return to town to sell his day’s work. Late in life he made many colored studies, often in Kent, which he believed had the finest skies in Europe.

This edition of the sketchbook reproduces all these beautiful drawings and watercolors in facsimile, with an illustrated introduction by Turner expert David Blayney Brown discussing their background and impact.

Additional information

Weight 480 g
Dimensions 14.2 x 26.5 cm
Publisher name Tate Publishing
Publication date 15 March 2017
Number of pages 152
Format Hardback
Contributors Introduction by David Blayney Brown
Dimensions 14.2 x 26.5 cm
Weight 480 g


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David Blayney Brown is Manton curator of British art, 1790-1850, Tate Britain.