Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Classical Harbour

c.1822–3

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 257 x 178 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17745
Turner Bequest CCII 25 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned upside down relative to the foliation this drawing occupies the left side of the upper register. Shipping appears to flank either side of the composition as if docked at a harbour with the sun or moon centrally placed above them. The drawing is similar in layout to the Claudian-styled depiction of a harbour with vessels on folio 6 of this sketchbook (Tate D17725; Turner Bequest CCII 6). It is the format of the drawing, then, that probably led the Turner scholars Martin Butlin, Andrew Wilton and John Gage to believe it to be a sketch of a classical composition, probably a harbour embarkation scene.1

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

1
Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.97, no.260

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore