Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Arrival of Louis-Philippe: Ships with Bunting in Portsmouth Harbour, with Figures in Boats Possibly Approaching the ‘Gomer’


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 236 x 311 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 99

Catalogue entry

Like the other works grouped here, this relates to the arrival of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, at Portsmouth Harbour on 8 October 1844, as discussed in the Introductions to this subsection and the overall section.1
A ship rigged with bunting is clearly shown on the left; for other examples see the subsection’s Introduction. Beyond that, the brushwork becomes increasingly loose and exploratory, giving the impression of the masts of larger vessels towards the right. It is possible that the King’s large hybrid sail-steamship the Gomer, is represented there, with its prominent paddle-wheel housing projecting above the deck amidships indicated by the swirling mark at the centre right; compare Tate D35981 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 138). The clustered marks indicating figures in small boats at the lower left there and in Tate D35957 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 114) appear to have their equivalents here.
See also Warrell 2013, p.10, and Smiles 2014, p.168.
Blank; inscribed in ink ‘4’ bottom left, upside down (for other sheets numbered in this way see the Introduction to this subsection); stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCCLXIV – 99’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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