Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sunderland Harbour from the South Pier

1817

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 116 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D12318
Turner Bequest CLVII 1

Catalogue entry

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.
Technical notes:
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).
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
February 2010

Read full Catalogue entry