Joseph Mallord William Turner

At Chatham, on the River Medway

c.1821

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17403
Turner Bequest CXCIX 22 a

Catalogue entry

As identified by Finberg, this page is part of quite a substantial sequence of drawings made on the River Medway at Chatham.1 Here, the dominant prospect describes a fort, perhaps Fort Pitt, on the horizon, marking the crest of topography which gently ascends from Turner’s position on the river, or river bank. In the immediate foreground the rooftops of buildings form an intermittent zigzag across the page. A light craft is sketched in at right, briefly indicated with gestural markings for hull and mast.
At the top of the sheet a second sketch, composed with an even lighter touch, shows two vessels on the river, hemmed in by small slivers of unelaborated landscape.
For a comprehensive list of the pages in this sketchbook which include drawings of Chatham, see the entry for folio 22 recto (D17402).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.608.

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