View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
On one of the inside covers of the sketchbook, Turner has here described a vista of sea, sky and land in pale watercolour. Finberg described the view as a harbour seen from a high vantage, presumably finding a headland in the broad lilac brush-strokes on the right.1 An equally faint area of bluish-green describes the sea while a central belt of reserved paper and dragged strokes of darker blue give the impression of clear sky breaking through dense cloud cover. The composition is inverted in relation to the sketchbook’s foliation.
Unrelated to the watercolour sketch is a rough pencil plan of Boulogne’s port area towards the bottom left of the page. The prominent semi-circular feature delineates the bassin à flot excavated to harbour the Napoleonic fleet prior to its failed 1805 attempt on England.2 The dock’s north-western inlet is oriented towards the right. See also the harbour plan on folio 2 verso (D35405; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 3v).
Transference from folio 1 recto opposite (D35403; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 2) has created light patches of ochre in the top left quadrant.