Joseph Mallord William Turner

Men-of-War in Portsmouth Harbour

1807

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 119 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D06546
Turner Bequest C 27

Catalogue entry

This is a crowded scene of ships, presumably including prizes from the Danish fleet seized by the British at Copenhagen; see Introduction to the sketchbook for the historical background. Here they appear to have entered the harbour and are either at anchor near the quay or surrounded by smaller boats. Finberg related this sketch to Turner’s Spithead: Boat’s Crew Recovering an Anchor (Tate N00481),1 for which also see the Introduction. There is no direct connection, however.

David Blayney Brown
May 2006

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.60–1 no.80 (pl.90).

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