Moonlight on the Medway at Chatham

Frank Sir Short, 1920

WAG 4525

About this object

Turner intended the 'Liber Studiorum' to consist of 100 prints but only 71 were released during his lifetime. He did continue to work on potential prints for the 'Liber' after he had finished publishing the series. A number of related unfinished drawings and plates were found in his studio after his death.

The engraver Sir Frank Short (1857-1945) copied a selection of Turner's original 'Liber' prints as a student. He later engraved plates based on Turner's unfinished designs for the 'Liber'. This print, 'Moonlight on the Medway at Chatham', was made by Short in 1920 based on one of these designs.

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.

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. It is unclear which category this print was intended to belong to.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Sir Frank Short (British, born:19 June 1857, died:22 April 1945)
  • Date
    1920
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 18.5 cm x 25.2 cm
  • Physical description
    A night view of the Medway at Chatham reflecting the full moon in the centre. There are two sailing boats on the left behind which a windmill and smoking chimney can be seen on the horizon
  • Related people
    Sir Frank Short (Artist/maker); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Designed by)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4525
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1922
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Symbol
    Inscription method: Imprinted
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: On Plate; Lower right
  • Inscription text: Frank Short
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: 1920
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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