The Morning after the Storm by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). 1840-45. Oil on canvas. 32.6 x 54.4 cm. NMW A 434. Acquisition by bequest in 1952. Like The Beacon Light and The Storm (its companion painting), this was one of the Davies sisters' art collection, and questions have been raised about its authenticity. This and the The Storm are said to have suffered from "harsh relining in the past" (Oxford Companion, p. 42). However, both have now been accepted as genuine Turners.

Closer view of the foreground: note the scratched surface, the thicker paint on the sun, the wheel of a cart seen more clearly near the middle of the shore, etc.

This seascape of 1840-45, like The Storm, is thought to have been inspired by the great storm of November 1840. As the Spectator reported on 21 November that year, "At sea, on all parts of the coast, but more particularly on the Southern and Eastern, the wrecks have been unusually numerous and disastrous" (3). The accounts given in the report are harrowing. It was a subject that appealed to Turner, whose A Wreck, with Fishing Boats belongs to the same period. Here, the observer joins the groups of people gathered on the shore in the early morning, to see the disastrous effects of the storm's power. The human element is almost subsumed into the natural scene, although some seem to have come on horses or with horse and cart (perhaps for rescue or salvage purposes); the huddled people on the right may be survivors. But whatever the extent of the disaster, the sun rises as usual for another day.

The painting in its frame.

Between them, Gwendoline (1882-1951) and Margaret Davies (1884-1963), philanthropic granddaughters of the Welsh industrialist David Davies, left 260 works to the museum, "completely transforming its art collection in character, quality and range" ("The Davies Sisters"). They evidently liked Turner. Later on they would turn to the impressionists.

Photographs, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and the National Museum of Wales and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


"The Davies Sisters." Amgueddfa Cymru β€” National Museum Wales. Web. 27 August 2019.

"The Morning after the Storm" Amgueddfa Cymru β€” National Museum Wales. Web. 27 August 2019.

"The severe storms at the end of last week..." . The Spectator Archive. Web. 27 August 2019.

Created 27 August 2019