J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Coastal Scenes and Shipping c.1820–45

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This section collects together diverse depictions of coastal scenery and seagoing vessels worked up by Turner in various combinations of pencil, chalk, watercolour and gouache on loose sheets of white, blue, brown and grey paper. The dating of these works mostly follows that provided in A.J. Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Turner Bequest based on stylistic factors, although these have been updated wherever more recent assessments have been ventured. These dates span from the early 1820s to the mid-1840s, reflecting the continuation of Turner’s intense interest in maritime themes into the middle and later phases of his career. Throughout this period, the artist worked ceaselessly on the various ways in which the sea could be depicted, embracing both its range of motifs and its technical challenges. Most of the works included here may be regarded as part of the latter dimension of his engagement with the sea, not least the free watercolour studies of the later period. These, as art historian Richard Johns has ...
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D24584, D24586, D24616, D24625, D24775, D24792, D24793, D24796, D24803, D24908, D24911, D24928, D24943, D24945, D24993, D25030, D25034, D25052–D25055, D25058, D25060, D25070, D25084–D25088, D25091, D25096–D25099, D25103, D25104, D25107–D25114, D25119, D25121, D25137, D25164, D25196, D25201, D25209, D25234, D25237, D25239, D25337, D25265, D25346–D25348, D25352, D25353, D25355, D25361, D25367, D25369, D25372, D25395–D25399, D25404, D25414, D25416, D25417, D25433, D25435, D25441, D25452, D25486, D25508, D27596, D27600, D33946, D34194, D34315–D34325, D34426, D34496–D34499, D34502, D34521–D34525, D34715, D34780, D34782, D34784, D34786–D34790, D34839–D34841, D34850, D34870, D34919, D34949, D34950, D34952, D34953, D35855, D35857, D35859, D35873, D35876–D35878, D35884, D35905–D35910, D35921–D35925, D35927–D35930, D35935, D35943, D35947, D35950, D35953, D35955, D35956, D35960, D35961, D35982–D35985, D35989, D35990, D35995, D35997, D35999–D36004, D36006, D36007, D36013, D36033, D36039, D36078, D36090, D36105–D36108, D36110–D36114, D36163, D36164, D36210, D36228, D36261, D36276–D36279, D36281–D36288, D36293, D36296, D36301–D36303, D36307–D36312, D40086, D40113, D40114, D40117, D40118, D40119, D40148, D40187, D41469, D41485
Turner Bequest CCLIX 19, 21, 21v, 51, 60, 210, 227, 228, 231, 238, CCLX 72, 75, 92, 107, 109, CCLXI 21, 58, 62, 80–83, 86, 88, 98, 112–116, 119, 124–127, CCLXII 3, 4, 7–14, 19, 21, CCLXIII 15, 42, 74, 79, 87, 112, 115, 117, 215, 143, 224–226, 230, 231, 233, 239, 245, 247, 250, 250v, 272–276, 281, 291, 293, 294, 310, 312, 318, 329, 363, 384, CCLXXX 79, 83, CCCXLI 233, CCCXLII 10, CCCXLIII 18–25v, CCCXLIV 71, 135–136v, 139, 155–157v, 269, 318–323v, 355v–356v, 362, 378, 424, 449, 449v, 451, 452, CCCLXIV 18, 20, 22, 34, 37–39, 45, 62–67, 78–82, 84–87, 92, 100, 104, 107, 110, 112, 113, 117, 118, 139–142, 145, 146, 151, 153, 155–160, 162, 163, 169, 189, 194, 232, 244, 259–261, 263–267, 306, 307, 349, 366, 394, 408–411, 413–420, CCCLXV 3, 6, 11–13, 17–22
This section collects together diverse depictions of coastal scenery and seagoing vessels worked up by Turner in various combinations of pencil, chalk, watercolour and gouache on loose sheets of white, blue, brown and grey paper. The dating of these works mostly follows that provided in A.J. Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Turner Bequest based on stylistic factors, although these have been updated wherever more recent assessments have been ventured.1 These dates span from the early 1820s to the mid-1840s, reflecting the continuation of Turner’s intense interest in maritime themes into the middle and later phases of his career.2 Throughout this period, the artist worked ceaselessly on the various ways in which the sea could be depicted, embracing both its range of motifs and its technical challenges. Most of the works included here may be regarded as part of the latter dimension of his engagement with the sea, not least the free watercolour studies of the later period. These, as art historian Richard Johns has observed, appear to have been created with rather open-ended intentions, encompassing experimentation with the medium and an ongoing desire to capture the gamut of coastal meteorology, as well as a hashing-out of ideas towards more formal projects.3
The terrain captured in this miscellany of sketches lacks definite or recognisable landmarks. However, in a few instances general locations on the coasts of England and France have been ventured. For one of the looser watercolour sketches on white paper, Turner specialist Eric Shanes thought an English location most likely: see D25452 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 329).4 Shanes also tentatively connected a number of works in the current grouping with the troubled preparations for the Picturesque Views on the East Coast of England engraving series:5 see D36228 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 366); D36261 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 394); D36276–D36279 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 408–411); D36281–D36288 (CCCLXIV 413–420).
1
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909.
2
For Turner’s abiding interest in the sea, see James Hamilton, Turner: The Late Seascapes, exhibition catalogue, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown 2003; also Ian Warrell (ed.), Franklin Kelly and others, J.M.W Turner, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington 2007, pp.187–201, and Christine Riding and Richard Johns (eds.), Turner and the Sea, exhibition catalogue, National Maritime Museum, London 2013.
3
Christine Riding and Richard Johns (eds.), Turner and the Sea, London 2013, pp. 202–11.
4
Eric Shanes, Turner’s Watercolour Explorations 1810–1842, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.95.
5
Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.82.

John Chu
June 2015

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Coastal Scenes and Shipping c.1820–45’, June 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/coastal-scenes-and-shipping-r1182733, accessed 19 February 2018.