Joseph Mallord William Turner

Buildings at Brighton Front


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCX 20 a

Catalogue entry

This is a partially developed study of the Front at Brighton, and includes some of the imposing Regency townhouses overlooking the beach and the Channel beyond. These buildings were fairly newly developed, and were constructed during Brighton’s ‘boom’ in the mid-eighteenth century. The town became a popular tourist destination and health resort, patronized by the Prince of Wales, who constructed his lavish summer palace, the Royal Pavilion, there during the early part of his Regency. In this drawing Turner pictures some of the grand terraced townhouses constructed during this flourishing period. The artist has inscribed an array of short notes and numbers to annotate this sketch, recording details such as ‘6 col[umns]’ above the first building at left. The notes are transcribed in full above.
For further sketches of Brighton in this book see Tate D18345–D18350, D18353–D18365, D18369–D18371; Turner Bequest CCX 21–23a, 25a–33a, 35a–36a. See also Turner’s design Brighthelmstone, produced for Cooke’s Picturesque Views of the Southern Coast of England and published in 1825 (Tate impression T05289 and Tate D18469; Turner Bequest CCX 88).

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2015

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