In his later years Turner spent much of his time at Margate with his companion, Mrs Booth. Here, he was able to study the coast at different times of day and in various weather conditions, responding with dozens of works in oil or watercolour in which the sea itself was the main subject.
This picture looks across the sands to Margate’s harbour wall and lighthouse. The rough waves crash against the shore and create white plumes of spray depicted with thick impasto paint. Although the sky at the right is grey, above Margate it is golden and bright.