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Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the subject is the recently constructed viaduct at Foord, carrying the railway not far north-west of Folkestone’s harbour; Ian Warrell has noted ‘a locomotive, puffing steam, about to cross’.1 There are watercolour studies of the viaduct in the contemporary Ideas of Folkestone sketchbook (Tate D35371–D35373; Turner Bequest CCCLVI 11, 12, 13); see under the first of these for its construction in 1844. Folio 14 verso of the present book (D35512) may show the structure in the distance.
David Blayney Brown has noted that Finberg’s comparison of motifs in this sketchbook (see also folio 2 verso; D35490) with watercolour studies in the contemporary Ideas of Folkestone sketchbook (in this case D35373)2 ‘need not be coincidental, for Turner was still thinking pictorially, and gathering information for a purpose.’3
There is some brown staining at the edge and at the gutter, possibly indicating water damage in the 1928 Tate flood.