Joseph Mallord William Turner
Shipping at the Mouth of the Thames c.1806–7

Artwork details

Shipping at the Mouth of the Thames
Date c.1806–7
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 857 x 1168 mm
frame: 1160 x 1464 x 122 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Display caption

This unfinished canvas shows how Turner prepared and began the breezy marines that he exhibited, mainly at his own Gallery, around 1807-9. It is freely brushed in delicate colours over a pale ground to enhance the atmospherics and luminosity of a finished work.

The scene is the Thames Estuary, probably off Sheerness. As in Turner’s exhibited Thames sea-pieces of this period, fishing and smaller boats are juxtaposed with a man-of-war, perhaps the naval guardship stationed at the Nore.

February 2010

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