Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Semaphore Tower, Eighteen Gun Battery and Round Tower at Portsmouth; the Gosport Blockhouse

1844

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 116 x 74 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35708
Turner Bequest CCCLXII 13

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there are two waterfront views here. As Ian Warrell has noted,1 the buildings in the upper drawing include Portsmouth’s former Square Tower semaphore station, with the Eighteen Gun Battery and Round Tower seen to the north-west from the Saluting Platform. Compare Edward William Cooke’s 1836 painting of the Semaphore at Portsmouth (National Maritime Museum, London). For other views of the tower, see under folio 2 verso (Tate D35688); compare in particular folios 5 recto and 14 verso (D35962, D35709).
Below, again as noted by Warrell,2 is the Gosport blockhouse to the west across the harbour’s mouth. The ‘13’ inscribed above it signifies the number of semi-circular gun ports on its seaward side. See also folios 5 recto and 20 recto (Tate D35692, D35721).
1
See Warrell 2013, p.10.
2
Ibid.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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