Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Ostend


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 x 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 173

Catalogue entry

Here Turner has sketched a slight view of Ostend from a distance as he approached the city by boat on 7 September 1824. This drawing was not identified by Finberg, who catalogued it in 1909 as showing ‘a distant town’, but the presence of the tower with concial spire almost certainly indicates that Turner depicts the Flemish port city here. That tower is called the Peperbusse, or St Peter’s Tower, and it once belonged to a Gothic church dated to 1438. The octagonal tower, rebuilt in 1729, was the only part of the building which survived following a fire in the late nineteenth century.1 Turner shows Ostend and the Peperbusse again, in this sketchbook, on Tate D19898, D19901; Turner Bequest CCXVI 173a, 175 and elsewhere on Tate D12687, D29601, D30467, D30470, D30471, D30476, D30477, D30485, D30487, D30488, D30490, D30493, D30495, D30498; Turner Bequest CLIX 95a, CCXCVI 4, CCCIII 4a, 6, 6a, 9, 9a, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18a, 19a, 21.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

Sint-Pieterstoren (Peperbusse), Oostende Culturstad, accessed 23 September 2014,

Read full Catalogue entry


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