View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This watercolour view of a beach and headland has been achieved without underlying pencil drawing. The dominant technique here is ‘wet-on-wet’ brush-strokes worked onto a highly water-saturated page; notable is the ‘hatched’ area in the lower register. Just above this section, the appearance of spume on the breaking waves has been captured by ‘lifting out’ small areas of blue wash.
As detailed in the Introduction to this sketchbook, this leaf is a possible candidate for one of the ‘drawn on’ inside covers noted by Finberg when the volume had yet to be broken up.1 Certainly, the sketch is comparable with the extremely liquid sea views which Turner sometimes worked into the inside covers of his contemporary ‘roll sketchbooks’. Intact examples of this include inside covers from the Ideas of Folkestone and Boulogne sketchbooks (Tate D35361, D35435; Turner Bequest CCCLVI 1, CCCLVIII 24).
Finberg 1909, vol.II, p.1167.
A margin of discolouration runs down the extreme left of the page with some dark blue mottling in the lower half. The upside down Turner Bequest number stamped in black at the top left of the page indicates that the sketch was inverted in relation to the intact volume as foliated. Robert Upstone suggests that the ‘X’ in the bottom right corner was inscribed to distinguish the top from the bottom of the sketch for correct viewing, although roman numerals of uncertain signification are scattered throughout the sketchbooks and may indicate redundant endorsement or accessioning notation; for example ‘C’ on the inside front cover of the Boulogne sketchbook (Tate D35402; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 1).1
Blank, except for margin of mottled brown discolouration running down the extreme right of the page.