Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Hull of a Three-Master, Canted on to its Side

1796–7

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

Medium
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 93 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01246
Turner Bequest XXXVII 128 a

Catalogue entry

It has been assumed that Turner simply omitted to draw the masts of this ship, but they may in fact have been partially removed preparatory to stripping the vessel as a hulk, many of which were to be found off the north Kent coast, used for storage and as prison-hulks during the wars with France.
Technical notes:
There is some wear at the corners where the page was formerly glued to a mount, having been extracted from the sketchbook in the nineteenth century to exhibit the verso (D01245; Turner Bequest XXXVII 128). John Ruskin’s note of the book’s inventory number presumably dates from that occasion.

Andrew Wilton
September 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore