Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sunset over the Thames: ?Harty Church


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 115 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCIX 90

Display caption

Turner made many studies in this book for the breezy seapieces he exhibited at his own gallery in 1808. In the finished oil paintings he brought together his interest in the ships and smaller craft of the Thames estuary with acutely observed weather and lighting conditions. The sketches on this page opening are typical of these dual interests, which are balanced throughout the book. On the left-hand sheet he has recorded a sunset from the water, making a note to himself at the bottom of the page: 'Sun like an Egg yoke'.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Described by Finberg as the recto of ‘page 90’ of the sketchbook, this was later inserted as folio 28 verso. The church is low-lying, at river level; a barge is indicated at left. Compare also the even slighter sketch, probably with the same church, on folio 30 verso (D06402; Turner Bequest XCIX 26a). This might be the church at Harty, on the Isle of Harty, the south-easterly point of the Isle of Sheppey, seen from the Thames.

David Blayney Brown
March 2009

Read full Catalogue entry


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