Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fishwives and Fishermen and a Sailing Boat; Studies for Compositions

c.1834–6

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 79 x 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D27755
Turner Bequest CCLXXXI 17

Catalogue entry

The main view is inverted, and shows men and women sitting and leaning on walls or rails, presumably by a river or harbour, with the sails of a boat passing beyond. The sou’wester-style hat of the figure on the left suggests he is a fisherman; compare the study on folio 28 recto (D27777). There are various studies of fishermen, fish markets and coastal views in the sketchbook, particularly towards the end, as set out in the Introduction.
At the bottom right are two heavily worked, rather indistinct sketches made with the page turned vertically. There are figures in at least one, perhaps with a sail beyond, and they may be thumbnail sketches for compositions related to the main drawing.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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