Turner produced nearly 200 vignettes for use as illustrations in literary works. It was thought that the gentle fading away of the design into a book’s pages gave a more harmonious reading experience. Turner’s vignettes were popular as printed illustrations but the originals were overlooked during his lifetime.
The bold colour and loose brushwork here is typical of Turner’s vignette watercolours and reflects the style of his late work. Turner’s ability to bring ‘nothingness into being’ in these works illustrates his considerable technical skill.