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Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. There seems to be no very strong connection with Purfleet and the Essex Shore as Seen from Long Reach (private collection)1 exhibited at Turner’s Gallery in 1808 save perhaps in the distant ship at centre; otherwise the Essex bank of the Thames is shown differently, mainly to left of centre in the sketch and more distantly on the right in the picture, while a larger ship and other vessels are present in the picture. The main interest of Purfleet in Turner’s day was the group of five large powder magazines and proof house that were used to test, store and supply gunpowder. The outline of some of these massive buildings can probably be seen in this sketch.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.57 no.74 (pl.84).