Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Fishermen


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 79 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXI 28

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, three men are seen in isolated studies from the back. The two at the left wear sou’wester-style hats, and the one on the left is incomplete; they may be variations on the same figure. To the right another figure leans over a basket, perhaps a lobster pot. The letter ‘R’ inscribed at the central figure’s elbow is probably a note of a red detail of his clothing. Compare the hat of the man in the sketch on folio 17 recto (D27755).
There are various studies of fishermen, fish markets and coastal views in the sketchbook, particularly a group towards the end; this is the first of this latter sequence, as set out in the Introduction.
Blank, save for some pencil offsetting in horizontal bands which suggests the page was once adjacent to another comprising pencil notes, although the unaccessioned recto of folio 29, now opposite (the verso being D27778), is blank.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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