Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of the Suffolk and Norfolk Coast: Southwold, Lowestoft, Pakefield and Great Yarmouth


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 x 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 2

Catalogue entry

Views along the East Anglia coast continued from folio 1 verso (D17509) with the sketchbook turned to the right. At the top of the page, inscribed ‘Southwold’ is a sketch showing the town from the sea to the north. Rising above the town, which is indicated by a jagged line, is the tower of St Edmund’s church. At the left is the harbour indicated by a row of masts and cross-spars at the mouth of the river Blyth with Walberswick to its south. At the far left may be the tower of St Andrew’s Church, Walberswick.
About ten miles up the coast from Southwold is the town of Lowestoft, seen here in the second sketch down from the south-east. At the left is what seems to be a church tower, perhaps Pakefield Church on the cliffs to the south of the town. At the right is Lowestoft Ness, the most easterly point of the British Isles.
The third sketch, labelled ‘Pakefield’, takes us closer to the shore than the previous two sketches. The building on the cliffs to the left may be All Saints’ and St Margaret’s Church, Pakefield, and on the right a boat sails past Lowestoft, perhaps returning to the busy fishing port. Distinguishable features of the town are the Church of St Margaret’s with a windmill either side of it. At the far right of the sketch is Lowestoft Ness, which may also be the subject of the sketch beneath.
The fifth sketch down, inscribed ‘south’, may be Southwold again with St Edmund’s Church tower, but this time taken from the north. At the left of the picture are several sailing boats seen from the stern of Turner’s own vessel.
There follows four views of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, with two more on the verso of this page (folio 2 verso; D17511). Still at some distance, the first view is from the south-east and shows the whole town from Gorleston Cliffs in the south to the North Beach. In the centre, labelled, ‘white Nelson Mon[ument]’, is the Norfolk Naval Pillar, a monument erected in 1819 in the South Denes area of town. To its left are two windmills, one of which may be the South Denes Post Mill, and to the right is the spire of St Nicholas and beyond that the masts of boats moored near by the beach.
Shanes 1981, p.152; Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.405–6 no.904.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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