Joseph Mallord William Turner

Beached Boats, with Houses Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 86 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXI 13

Catalogue entry

Using the page turned vertically both ways, Turner has made two rapid, complementary studies of beached boats with small buildings beyond. The outer sketch is inscribed with colour and other notes, while the one at the gutter seems to show cliffs in the distance and the sea off to the right. The latter drawing is carried over very slightly onto the unaccessioned recto of folio 14 opposite. On which side of the Channel the subjects were recorded is unclear; see the sketchbook’s Introduction for the many slight coastal and shipping views scattered through it.
The blank recto is inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ and stamped in black ‘CCCLXI – 13’ at the bottom right. For numerous instances of blank, unaccessioned rectos in this sketchbook, see the technical notes in the Introduction.
Technical notes:
There is some brown staining at the gutter, possibly indicating water damage in the 1928 Tate flood.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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