barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851)

The Sun Rising Through Vapour

London, about 1809

Oil on canvas

69.2 x 101.6 cm


The newly-risen sun disperses the clouds and infuses sand and sea with a golden glow. 

Fishermen unload their catch which is then displayed on the beach for sale.  Behind, a number of ships including a first-rate man-of-war and a dismasted hulk (a prison) stand at anchor, a reminder that Britain was at war with France in 1809.

Turner painted numerous marine subjects early in his career.  As here, he sought to make his reputation by matching the Dutch masters of the 17th century.


Purchased 1938 (No.38.1)


Monet, Manet and Magritte; Renoir, Rubens, Rossetti and Rodin; Degas, Delacroix and Van Dyck - as well as Botticelli, Poussin, Turner, Gainsborough, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bellows, Hodgkin and Auerbach...

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