Joseph Mallord William TurnerClassical Harbour Buildings 1805

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Artwork details

Classical Harbour Buildings
Date 1805
MediumPen and ink on paper
Dimensionssupport: 150 x 258 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XC 30 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 30 Verso:
Classical Harbour Buildings 1805
Turner Bequest XC 30a
Pen and ink on off-white wove paper, prepared with a grey wash, 150 x 258 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is a more developed and extended version of the composition of a classical sea-port on folio 19 verso of the sketchbook (D05517); compare also folio 31 verso (D05536). With the sketch facing it on folio 31 (D05535), depicting idealised Thames scenery, it forms a contrast or comparison that is singled out by Nicholson as typical of this sketchook’s ‘cogent interrogation of structures of meaning’ which led Turner to ‘put mythic themes and classical compositions in close rapport with drawings of observable scenery ... perceiving the ways such opposite approaches might be mutually reinforcing’.

David Blayney Brown
August 2007

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