Joseph Mallord William Turner

At Dover Castle


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 47 a

Catalogue entry

This page is occupied by two drawings, the topmost of which is a delicately rendered sketch of Dover Castle, as per Finberg’s observation.1 The prospect describes the breadth of the imposing fort in full, observed from the north with a slight easterly tilt on the perspective. The handling is light and considered, producing a thorough but texturally unelaborated record of the view. A few quickly hashed lines fill the east-facing sections of land on the left hand side of the drawing, perhaps the shadows cast by a south-westerly sun. This would indicate that Turner made the drawing during the afternoon. For more studies of Dover Castle in this sketchbook, see the list outlined in the entry for folio 24 recto (D17247).
The second drawing, across the bottom of this page, is a coastal view. At right, the inland prospect expands, rendered with rippled lines which emanate from the middle of the picture. At left the cliffs upon which Turner apparently stands fall away, presumably towards the sea. A headland on the far left, towards the edge of the page, is elaborated with a single, dark vertical mark, possibly to indicate the tower of a church or a lighthouse. It is useful to note that this may be a third drawing, rather than necessarily an extension of the bottom prospect on the page.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.605.

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