Joseph Mallord William Turner

A View of Sandgate, Looking West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 40 a

Catalogue entry

As recognised by Finberg, this page describes a view of Sandgate, taking in the coast beyond as it carries on westwards towards Dungeness.1 Towards the right hand side the broad, squat form of a Martello tower sits atop the cliffs, and on the left, closer to the bottom edge of the page, Sandgate Castle is positioned on the shoreline. Turner’s handling is detailed but swift, demonstrating rough, buffeted mounds of coastal turf and the clean, strong lines of sturdy homes.
This view is encompassed in studies of the same prospect on folios 37 verso, 38 recto, and 41 recto (D17270–D17271, D17277). The latter example describes identical topography but observed at slightly closer proximity, accounting for the absence of a Martello tower. Turner also executes a very clear drawing of an almost identical view on folio 44 recto (D17280). He returns to it again in the Holland sketchbook of 1825 (Tate D18883; Turner Bequest CCXIV 22 a).
See the entry for folio 16 verso (D17233) for further studies of Sandgate Castle in this sketchbook. For a full list of pages which describe Martello towers along the Kent coast, see the entry for folio 5 verso (D17215).
Finberg,1909, I, p.605.
Technical notes:
Various stains mark this page, probably caused by water.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

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