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Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
JOSEPH M. W. TURNER Calm.
Etching, aquatint and mezzotint printed in dark brown, 1812. 178x267 mm; 7x10 1/2 inches, full margins. First state (of 7). From Liber Studiorum. A superb, richly-inked and early impression.
Calm is part of a series of 81 mezzotints created by Turner (1775-1851) and other printmakers, after his oils, that have come to be known as the Liber Studiorum (Book of Studies, in Latin). The "M" in the top margin of this print indicates Turner's category of Marine landscape. The Liber Studiorum mezzotints are based on original watercolors by Turner derived from his paintings, essentially a visual catalogue raisonné of all his works. It's assumed that Turner approved of the mezzotint process as it simulated the appearance of watercolor on moist paper and, in recognition of their commercial viability. The 1820 introduction of steel mezzotint plates (as opposed to copper, which produced very limited quality impressions before the plate wore down and required reworking) may have prompted him to issue these prints. Finberg 44.