'The Falls of the Clyde' c. 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1755 – 1851)

Oil on canvas, 89 x 119.5cm
Accession Number LL3584

Joseph Mallord William Turner 'The Falls of the Clyde'

This painting is one of a group of late and experimental oils not intended for public exhibition. In these Turner| freely reworked subjects he had first treated decades before. The source for this canvas was a large watercolour he had completed in 1802, now in the Walker Art Gallery|.

Situated on the upper Clyde near Lanark, the falls had become an attraction for tourists at the end of the 18th century when they had been painted by a number of artists.

Turner’s abiding fascination with the effects of strong light, here playing on the spray of cascading water, converts a picturesque scene into a profound expression of the elemental forces and primary colours of nature.