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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Margate, London and Surrey c.1829–45

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This section includes three sketchbooks and a selection of separate sheets, largely connected with Margate in Kent. The Kent sketchbook (Turner Bequest CCCLXIII), here dated to about 1830, including views at Margate and other sites at the eastern end of the county, as well as studies for compositions in progress around that time. The Marine Dabblers book (Turner Bequest CCXLI) is a smart ready-made album with decorative half-leather covers, containing assorted papers in a variety of pastel colours, while Colnaghi’s Account (Turner Bequest CCXLII) is a cheaply produced French notebook. The former includes views of Margate and slight studies of people by the sea, as well as unidentified landscapes; the latter contains only a few rural sketches, including scenes at Croydon in Surrey, and the page of financial notes from which it takes its name. Listed consecutively in Finberg’s 1909 Turner Bequest Inventory, these two small sketchbooks remain grouped together here in the absence of clear ...
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Marine Dabblers Sketchbook c.1829–30
D22463–D22556, D41105–D41106
Turner Bequest CCXLI 1–80a
Colnaghi’s Account Sketchbook c.1829–30
D22557–D22576, D41058–D41059
Turner Bequest CCXLII 1–16a
Kent Sketchbook c.1830
D35758–D35796, D35798–D35804, D35806–D35821, D35823–D35836, D41226–D41229
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 1–43a
D20319–D20320, D24640, D24794, D24812, D24834, D24947–D24948, D25340, D25354, D29014, D34160–D34161, D34326, D34336–D34341, D34493–D34495, D34582–D34585, D36017, D36056, D36077, N05239
Turner Bequest CCXXIV 29, 29v, CCLIX 75, 229, 247, 269, CCLX 111, 112, 218, 232, CCXCII 63, CCCXLI 427, 427v, CCCXLIII 26, 35, 36a–e, CCCXLIV 132–134, 190, 190v, 191, 191v, CCCLXIV 173, 210, 231
This section includes three sketchbooks and a selection of separate sheets, largely connected with Margate in Kent. The Kent sketchbook (Turner Bequest CCCLXIII), here dated to about 1830, including views at Margate and other sites at the eastern end of the county, as well as studies for compositions in progress around that time.
The Marine Dabblers book (Turner Bequest CCXLI) is a smart ready-made album with decorative half-leather covers, containing assorted papers in a variety of pastel colours, while Colnaghi’s Account (Turner Bequest CCXLII) is a cheaply produced French notebook. The former includes views of Margate and slight studies of people by the sea, as well as unidentified landscapes; the latter contains only a few rural sketches, including scenes at Croydon in Surrey, and the page of financial notes from which it takes its name.
Listed consecutively in Finberg’s 1909 Turner Bequest Inventory,1 these two small sketchbooks remain grouped together here in the absence of clear links to specific tours or projects. From internal evidence, they were employed at about the same period, albeit probably not together, and they were used haphazardly, perhaps because neither is a conventional sketchbook. The only subject in common is recorded in slight sketches made on the River Thames below London Bridge, a recurring subject for Turner. On these occasions he might have been embarking or returning from trips to Margate or beyond. Similarly, the Kent book includes sketches apparently made further down the river at Greenwich.
Also included here are separate sheets showing Margate beach scenes in the vicinity of Mrs Booth’s house, Turner’s habitual base in the town, in various weather conditions and at different times of the day, sometimes bustling with fishermen and visitors, and sometimes deserted. Having been at first the artist’s landlady on his occasional visits from London, Sophia Caroline Booth (1798–1875) became Turner’s companion in later years after she was widowed in 1833.2 The Introduction to the subsection of separate sheets here discusses the situation of the house, on the site of the Turner Contemporary gallery, and Turner’s varied responses to his immediate surroundings there, while the Introduction to the Marine Dabblers book surveys his familiarity with Margate since his boyhood and his responses elsewhere.
Note: Initially comprising just the Marine Dabblers and Colnaghi’s Account sketchbooks, this section was expanded in 2016 to incorporate the Kent sketchbook and separate studies of Margate. This introduction has been amended accordingly.
1
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.741–2.
2
See John Gere, Booth, Sophia Caroline’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.28–9.

Matthew Imms
May 2014

Revised September 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Margate, London and Surrey c.1829–45’, May 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/margate-london-and-surrey-r1148450, accessed 14 December 2017.