Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats on Shore, possibly Folkestone

c.1822–8

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 156 × 246 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25365
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 243

Catalogue entry

A very slight and loosely rendered drawing, Turner scholar Eric Shanes writes that it bears stylistic similarities with other ‘colour beginnings’ and may have even been produced ‘during the same working session’ (see Tate D25383, D25393, D25410, D25422, D25426, D25437; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 260, 270, 287, 299, 303, 314).1 Shanes also proposes that the view is related to a colour study of Folkestone (Tate D17760; Turner Bequest CCIII C).
Turner’s rendering of form is free and fluid. The dilute pigments of the headland merge with those of the sea. Boats on the shore are swiftly articulated with just a few brush-strokes, two fine vertical strokes suggesting their masts. The spontaneity of Turner’s draughtsmanship is made manifest here, the mark making minimal and yet fully evocative of form and atmosphere.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

1
Shanes 1997, p.61, no.43.

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