View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The exact subject of this watercolour sketch, featuring blue, grey, brown, and yellow washes, is difficult to discern although breaking rainclouds and a turbulent sea are clearly involved. David Blayney Brown draws a comparison between this and the major oil painting Seascape: Folkestone of about 1845 (private collection)1 and, like Ian Warrell, makes a convincing case that the brown form at the centre of the page is a steamship caught in a rainstorm.2 The grey zigzag directed towards the top right corner may represent the exhaust expelled from the vessel’s chimney. Certainly such a subject would be consistent with the character of the Boulogne coastline during the 1840s as the port became the pre-eminent destination for cross-Channel steam packets.3
As detailed in the Introduction to this sketchbook, this leaf is a possible candidate for one of its ‘drawn on’ inside covers as described by Finberg when the volume had yet to be broken up.4
There is a margin of mottled discolouration to the left of the page.
A margin of mottled brown discolouration runs down the extreme right of the page.