This sketchbook contains studies in pencil, pen and ink and chalk for a number of Turner’s early exhibited marine oil paintings. The sketches draw on his imagination as well as recording Turner’s own experiences of being at sea.
In 1802, a brief lull in the Napoleonic Wars permitted travel to France and Turner was able to cross the Channel for the first time. Energetic drawings of waves and spray point to the arduous nature of sea travel at this time. On one page of the book he notes that rough seas ‘nearly swampt’ the passengers disembarking at Calais.