Joseph Mallord William Turner

A View of Sandgate, with the Castle and Episcopal Chapel


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 44

Catalogue entry

As outlined by Finberg’s long title for this page, here Turner does indeed look ‘along the coast from Folkestone towards Dungeness [showing] Sandgate Castle near foreground’.1 On the far right, close to the gutter, Turner includes in the immediate foreground Martello tower number four, which overlooks the castle. For a list of pages in the present sketchbook which describe the Martello fortifications in Kent, see the entry for folio 5 verso (D17215). For a similar list of drawings of Sandgate Castle, see the entry for folio 16 verso (D17233). Parts of the present sketch are rendered using very quick, gestural preliminary marks, for example two deeply curved lines in the centre towards the bottom. Turner seems to have noted these shapes and then elaborated on them, working nuance into the craggy cliff-face and adding short, sharp lines to indicate scruffy turf.
The Episcopal Chapel at Sandgate is visible to the right of the castle, distinguished by the distinctive cupola on its roof. Consecrated in May 1822, the presence of this building within the prospect confirms that this sketchbook was still in use during that year. For more information about the history of the structure, now destroyed, see the entry for folio 16 verso (D17233). For a comprehensive list of its appearances in Turner’s drawings, see the sketchbook Introduction.
This drawing is part of a succession of similar or identical views of Sandgate observed in this sketchbook. See folios 37 verso, 38 recto, 40 verso, and 41 recto (D17270–D17271, D17276–D17277). In addition, Turner returns to it in the Holland sketchbook of 1825 (Tate D18883; Turner Bequest CCXIV 22 a).
Finberg 1909, I, p.605.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

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