Joseph Mallord William Turner

Capel-le-Ferne and Vessels at Sea


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 90 a

Catalogue entry

On this page Turner describes two coastal scenes. Associated with the inscription ‘Capel Le Ferne’, and also annotated with ‘Hougham’, a drawing at bottom right records a collection of buildings situated on a coastal cliff. Capel-Le-Ferne is a village on the Kent coast between Dover and Folkestone, two locations to which Turner pays significant attention in the present sketchbook. ‘Hougham’ refers to another nearby Parish, Hougham Without, which is situated between Folkestone and Dover.
Aside from the inscribed sketch, the page is dominated by an expansive and energetic drawing of vessels at sea in a rain storm. Angry clouds rumble at top left, and long, dashed strokes of the pencil towards the centre send a torrent of raindrops down onto the ships. The choppy horizon is indicated by a wavering line across three quarters of the page, starting at far left. Turner makes two similar compositions earlier on in the sketchbook, on folios 88 verso and 89 verso (D17358 and D17360).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Read full Catalogue entry


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