Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Boat by a Pier, with ?Fishermen

c.1826–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 139 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24944
Turner Bequest CCLX 108

Catalogue entry

The various elements here do not seem to cohere very readily. A sturdy but apparently small boat with at least two occupants, perhaps fishermen, is seemingly depicted on a larger scale than the man, woman and child standing on the beach to the left. The pale forms of figures on a pier or quay beyond seem an afterthought, as though Turner were experimenting with an idea for a composition.
The family group appears well dressed, and they are perhaps tourists embarking or disembarking; for other examples of both fishermen and travellers, see the Introduction.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘D.24944’ bottom left. There is a border of white paper or tape, indicating that the sheet was formerly mounted.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

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