Joseph Mallord William Turner

Portchester Castle from the East and West


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 160 x 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVI 12

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there are five studies here. At the top left is the medieval keep of Portchester Castle above the Roman outer walls, looking west from Waterside Lane, where Turner had presumably just landed after crossing Portsmouth Harbour and making the views of the castle on folio 11 verso opposite (D17934). The slight shape at the bottom right appears to be a beached rowing boat. Below is a wider view in the same direction from further back, presumably while still approaching by water; the slight sketch above may be a continuation to the left, showing the far end of the harbour to the south. At the bottom the west side of the keep, with its prominent buttresses, is seen from the junction of Waterside Lane and Castle Street, with a smaller reprise of the same view framed by trees, much as it still appears. See also the verso (D17936).
This is one of a continuous series of views around Portsmouth between folios 1 recto and 20 recto (D17913–D17951); many appear to have been made from a boat; for the overall sequence and details of the most prominent buildings and defences, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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