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The subject is continued on folio 41 recto opposite (D04981; Turner Bequest LXXXI 79). The main image seems to be connected with the sequence of events at Turner’s landing at Calais in his Channel crossing in July 1802, and with the large canvas Calais Pier, with French Poissards Preparing for Sea: An English Packet Arriving, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1803 (National Gallery, London).1 For related sketches in this sketchbook, see under folio 30 verso (D04960; Turner Bequest LXXXI 58).
The figures in a boat in the lower left corner are a separate drawing. Other sketches are inverted, including a slight study of a horse’s head.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.37–8 no.48, pl.58 (colour).