Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Fishing Boat Riding a Large Breaker

c.1799–1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04986
Turner Bequest LXXXI 84

Catalogue entry

The drawing continues on folio 44 recto opposite (D04987; Turner Bequest LXXXI 85). As Turner’s annotation tells us, this is a study for Fishermen upon a Lee–Shore, in Squally Weather (Southampton Art Gallery),1 which was acquired from the artist by Samuel Dobree, probably at or immediately after its showing at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1802. It gives the central episode very much as it appears in the finished painting, and with great dramatic force.
Other studies related to the picture are on folios 49 verso–50 recto and 51 verso–52 recto (D04998–D04999, D05002–D05003; Turner Bequest LXXXI 96–97, 100–101), and in the Chester sketchbook (Tate D05155–D05157; Turner Bequest LXXXII 75a, 76, 76a). See also drawings in the On a Lee Shore (1) and (2) sketchbooks (Tate D03978, D03990–D03991; Turner Bequest LXVII 5, LXVIII 5a–6).
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.15–16 no.16, pl.12 (colour).
Technical notes:
There is heavy offsetting from folio 44 recto opposite (D04987; Turner Bequest LXXXI 85).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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