View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The inscription ‘Vim’ is an abbreviation of the phonetic spelling of Wimereux and locates this view some three miles up the coast from Boulogne. From a low vantage point across a churning sea are seen, as if from a boat, Wimereux’s sloping, striated cliffs. Above this, Napoleonic ‘Martello’ towers punctuate the skyline.1
Highly saturated, calligraphic strokes of blue describe the crashing of surf onto rocks and the peeping of foliage over the cliffs’ edge. Turner has paid particular attention to capturing the effect of geological strata seen in wet conditions, with parallel strokes of ochre, yellow, and red permitted to bleed and feather into one another.
J. Brunet, New Guide to Boulogne-sur-Mer, 3rd ed., Boulogne 1840, p.25.