The Leader Sea Piece

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Published on 29 March 1809

WAG 4492

About this object

This print, 'The Leader Sea Piece', is plate 20 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It is an example of the 'Marine' category of landscape painting. It was published with the 4th part of the series on 29 March 1809.

The 'Liber Studiorum' illustrated Turner’s arguments for the supremacy of landscape painting. The title means ‘book of studies’ in Latin. It contained no written text, instead it was made up of individual mezzotint prints on paper. They were released in fourteen parts from around 1807 until 1819. Turner intended the 'Liber' to consist of 100 prints but only 71 were ultimately produced.

The prints reflected the five categories of landscape painting Turner believed existed: architectural, historical, marine, mountainous and pastoral. Turner wrote an initial on each work to indicate which category it belonged to.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    The Guard-Ship at the Nore
  • Artist(s)
    Charles Turner (British, born:31 July 1774, died:01 August 1857)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:probably 23 April 1775, died:19 December 1851)
  • Date
    Published on 29 March 1809
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 17.6 cm x 25.6 cm
  • Physical description
    A seascape of four sailing vessels, including a naval ship on the right, on slightly rough waters. In the foreground to the left one vessel leans over to the right in the wind. A buoy bobs in the right foreground corner. The sun breaks through clouds in sky.
  • Related people
    Charles Turner (Artist/maker, engraver); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4492
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1874
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Original sketch of a picture for W. Leader Esq.
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Below plate
  • Inscription text: March 29th 1809
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: M
    Inscription method: Printed
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Above plate
Object view = Fine Art
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