View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The view is westwards in the direction of Monkwearmouth, looking inland along the pier on the south side of Sunderland Harbour, from which a ship is setting sail. The mast on the pier to its right appears to be the one seen again in the view in the opposite direction on folio 2 recto (D12319). Only the stump of this southern pier survives, as there has been extensive rebuilding around the harbour.
This is the first of a sequence of Sunderland views, running on to folio 5 recto (D12324). There is also a very slight sketch inside the back cover (D40923) which appears to show a cliff, and may have been made on the coast nearby. It is possible, as discussed in the introduction to the tour, that Turner had arrived by sea.
The centre of the right-hand edge has been rubbed and pulled back by contact with the plate anchoring the brass clasp inside the front cover of the sketchbook opposite (D40918).