Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Rocky Shore, with the Tour de Croy in the Distance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 230 x 325 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 12

Catalogue entry

With the addition of a pair of boat masts framing the scene to the right, Turner records a view very similar to folio 3 recto (D35406; TB CCCLVIII 4). In both, a boulder-strewn foreground and high headland draws the eye out to the distant form of the eighteenth-century Tour de Croy stranded on its rocky reef.1
The offshore fort and the line of the sea are picked out in lilac hence, presumably, Finberg’s assumption that the sketch represents a dawn scene.2 The impression of overlapping hills on the headland has been achieved by loading the edge of the brush with a greater intensity of ochre pigment and tracing the profile of each hill in single sweeps.
Pierre-André Wimet, ‘Un vestige boulonnais de la Guerre de Sept ans – La tour de Croy, à Wimereux’, Bulletin de la Commission Départementale des Monuments Historiques du Pas-de-Calais, vol.6, no.1, 1935, pp.418–22.
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.1168.
Technical notes:
There is a sparse scattering of very small black marks on the surface of the page.
Blank, except for large patches of transference from folio 12 recto opposite (D35415; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 13).

John Chu
November 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


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