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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Margate c.1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Margate c.1830
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 44
Pencil and watercolour, 352 x 518 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘M’ towards top right
Inscribed in red ink ‘44’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Eric Shanes has compared the distant profile of Margate, Kent, from the west, articulated in pencil and occupying the right-hand half of the horizon of this loose, luminous and ‘marvellously silvery’1 colour study, with that shown in the watercolour Margate from the Sea, Whiting Fishing of 1822 (private collection),2 engraved in 1825 as Sun-Rise. Whiting Fishing at Margate for Turner’s Marine Views (Tate impression: T06655).3 Turner’s many views of Margate include two watercolours, looking in a similar direction from the beach: one, of about 1822 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven)4 was engraved in 1824 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast; the other, of about 1825 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford),5 engraved in 1828 for the Ports of England, but not published until the 1856 Harbours of England.
Another watercolour, Margate of about 1830 (Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry),6 was engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04590–T04592, T06098). That view shows a prominent foreground of fields and trees, some way from the sea, although the fundamental prospect eastwards across to the distant harbour and cliffs is much the same. Shanes has suggested that the current study, with its ‘diffused and enormously subtle interminglings’,7 is too small to be a variant of or study for the Marine Views design, and was perhaps an alternative idea for England and Wales.8 Another colour study, rather more tentatively linked with Margate, is Tate D25203 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 81).
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
Shanes 1997, p.19.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.507.
Shanes 1997, p.69.
Wilton 1979, p.353 no.470, reproduced.
Ibid., pp.387–8 no.757, reproduced.
Ibid., p.398 no.839, reproduced.
Shanes 1997, p.25; see also p.69, 92 note 53.1.
Ibid., p.69; see also pp.19, 95, 99.
Blank, save for inscriptions: in pencil ‘AB 92 P’ top left, upside down; and in pencil ‘CCLXIII 44’ bottom right.
The ‘AB’ number corresponds with the endorsement on one of the parcels of works sorted by John Ruskin during his survey of the Turner Bequest, in this case classified by him as ‘Colour effects. Valueless’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.814.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Margate c.1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-margate-r1144276, accessed 24 September 2017.