Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats in Folkestone Harbour


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

Watercolour on paper
Support: 230 x 328 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLVI 23

Catalogue entry

This is a watercolour sketch of various sailing-boats moored or perhaps in transit at Folkestone harbour. Rendered in purple-brown wash, the curving narrow profile of masts and sails appear silhouetted against the background. Turner has used the same wash to mark out much of the foreground, which is punctured towards the bottom by a diagonal sequence of red daubs of paint. The obscure form of a steamboat is rendered in pale yellow, its ubiquitous trail of steam dispersing into the overcast sky. For other works featuring steamboats in this sketchbook see folios 2, 3 and 18 recto (D35363, D35364, D35380).

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2013

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