Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Arrival of Louis-Philippe: ?The ‘Gomer’ near the Mouth of Portsmouth Harbour

1844

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 238 x 315 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35899
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 57

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 Robert Upstone has noted the bunting in the rigging on the left, which Turner ‘abbreviates ... to dots’;2 for other examples see the subsection’s Introduction.3
Upstone has suggested that the vessel on the right is the King’s large hybrid sail-steamship, the Gomer, sailing north from the Solent into the harbour’s mouth, with the cupola of Portsmouth Cathedral and the Square Tower semaphore station to the east; compare the prospect in Tate D35888 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 48).4 The ship paused at the Victoria Pier below the semaphore tower before moving on to Gosport;5 it is shown in a pencil drawing in the Louis-Philippe at Portsmouth sketchbook (Tate D35692; Turner Bequest CCCLXII 5).
1
See also Smiles 2014, p.168.
2
Upstone 1993, p.53.
3
See also David Blayney Brown, Turner and the Channel: Themes and Variations c.1845, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1987, p.20.
4
See also Warrell 2013, p.10.
5
Upstone 1993, p.53; see also Warrell 2013, p.9.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in ink ‘5’ top right (for other sheets numbered in this way see the Introduction to this subsection); stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCCLXIV – 57’ towards bottom right.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like