Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two-Masted Sailing Vessel

1821

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18542
Turner Bequest CCXI 11

Catalogue entry

This is one of four pages of sketches in the present book of a two-masted vessel with an eagle figurehead docked at Greenwich (see Tate D18539; Turner Bequest CCXI 9a). The present sketch, made from the starboard side, pays particular attention to the rigging, and the artist has noted the colour of the hull (‘Black’) and of the ‘White Deck’. Turner’s approach to recording these details is very reminiscent of a sketch he made of George IV’s yacht, the Royal George, when it was moored in Leith harbour in August 1822 (Tate D17514; Turner Bequest CC 4), suggesting that these studies may also be connected with George IV’s visit to Scotland.1
Another sketch brings us closer into the bow of the vessel where the figurehead is recorded in more detail (Tate D18543; Turner Bequest CCXI 12).

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

1
Warrell 1999, pp.24, 253 note 42.

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