Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats, with Houses Beyond ?at or near Bruges

1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 78 × 118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D19890
Turner Bequest CCXVI 169 a

Catalogue entry

These rough and swiftly executed sketches show two river landscapes: the uppermost with boats sailing close to a small harbour with windmills, cylindrical towers with conical spires, and a church with a narrowly tapering steeple. The same architecture is depicted at a distance on Tate D19892; Turner Bequest CCXVI 170 a.
The lowermost sketch appears to show boats on open water, with a stormy sky beyond. There is a final view, diminutive in scale and squared off at bottom left, showing the meander of a river in a flat rural landscape. The absence of clearly identifiable features makes it difficult to be exact about the location, but it is likely that Turner pictures a river in Flanders, perhaps near Bruges.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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