Joseph Mallord William Turner Folkestone Beach 1845

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Folkestone Beach
From Ideas of Folkestone Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCCLVI
Date 1845
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 230 x 328 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35380
Turner Bequest CCCLVI 19
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

This pencil and watercolour drawing depicts a Folkestone beach and a steamer at sea. Rough pencil jottings beneath yellow wash suggest foreground incident, perhaps figures or small boats. The form of a rocky cliff is rendered in diluted red pigment, used in conjunction with pale blue to suggest the continuation of the coastline into the distance. A pencil outline of further coastline extends far into the sea. Turner has rendered the sea with graded blue wash, at points dropping in colour and allowing it to bleed and feather. Perhaps the most striking feature of the drawing is the trail of vibrantly coloured steam from a packet at sea dispersing into cloud. Blue and red wash has been applied in swift curved strokes and daubs of the brush, the pigments merging and feathering into each other to form interesting tonal gradations. Turner has inscribed ‘Fo’ in pencil at the bottom right, presumably shorthand for Folkestone. For other works featuring steamboats in this sketchbook see folios 2, 3, 22 recto (D35363, D35364, D35384).

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2013

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