Joseph Mallord William TurnerRye from the Marsh c.1816-18

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Artwork details

Rye from the Marsh
From Hastings Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXXIX
Date c.1816-18
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 129 x 205 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIX 21 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 21 Verso:
Rye from the Marsh circa 1816–18
Turner Bequest CXXXIX 21a
Pencil on white wove paper, 129 x 205 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, and continued on folio 22 (D10370), this drawing served as the basis for the watercolour (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff)1 engraved by Edward Goodall in 1824 for Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England. The view is eastwards from the salt-marsh between Rye and Winchelsea. In the watercolour, Turner substantially changed the foreground, bringing in the Royal Military Road connecting the two towns, inventing a flood-surge overwhelming a wooden dam built to protect works to the Royal Military Canal and the River Brede and moving Camber Castle into view on the right.2 He also cut short the view on the left, to exclude the Martello Tower present in D10370. See also rather quicker sketches in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10515, D10516; Turner Bequest CXL 54a, 55).
Rye is marked on the sketch map of the South Coast inside the back cover of the sketchbook (D40834).

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

Wilton 1979, pp.353–4 no.471.
For this ‘entirely imaginative construction’ see Shanes 1981, p.37, and Eric Shanes, Turner in 1066 Country, exhibition catalogue, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings 1998, p.7.

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