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From the late 1820s, Turner made regular visits to the fashionable resort of Margate, near the eastern tip of the county of Kent. Travelling by steam boat, Turner could be there just a few hours after leaving central London. He is said to have particularly prized the coastal light, claiming that the skies over the Isle of Thanet were the most beautiful in Europe.

This painting probably resulted from his visits to Margate, though it is not known whether Turner actually created a studio at his temporary lodgings; he could have painted such images from memory back in London.

September 2004