Joseph Mallord William Turner: Dawn after the Wreck
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Dawn after the Wreck
Watercolor, gouache, and touches of red chalk with some rubbing out and scraping
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Gift in memory of Sir Stephen Courtauld, 1974
In spite of its title — invented by the Victorian critic John Ruskin — this watercolor does not directly depict the aftermath of a shipwreck. Several elements do, however, imbue the coastal scene with a sense of solitude and even despair: the intense crimson clouds, the “feeble blood-stain on the sand” (to quote Ruskin), and the lone howling dog.