Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Jetty, ?near Boulogne


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 230 × 326 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 2

Catalogue entry

This page features two initial pencil sketches, only one of which has been worked up in watercolour. For that reason, a loose outline of a skyline with gables and fortifications floats incongruously above a much more advanced, low-lying sea view.
The greater part of the page has been saturated with light washes – delicate ochre as the basis for the sky and a diluted moss tint for the sea – over which the shoreline, cloud effects, and a long jetty have been worked up in gouache, or perhaps very dry watercolour scumbling. At the bottom left, Turner has rapidly manipulated ochre paint on the page to create an impression of wet sand while dabs of dark blue-green and more ochre in the sky imitate the colourful effects of sunset or, as Finberg guessed,1 sunrise upon light coastal cloud cover. The jetty that stretches into the vista from the right is composed from a crimson layer of paint glazed over with the dark blue-green to vivid colouristic effect.
Finberg 1909, vol.II, p.1168.
Blank, apart from watercolour transference from folio recto 2 opposite (D35404; Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 3).

John Chu
November 2013

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