Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs near Folkestone

c.1821–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17230
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 14 a

Catalogue entry

This simple pencil outline of cliffs looks across to Folkestone, as observed by Finberg.1 The shaded silhouette of a tall building on the right is likely to represent Folkestone’s main parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, which features in many of Turner’s studies of the area.
There are further, more definitive, studies of the church elsewhere in this sketchbook, and several tenuous ones as well. For a list of these, as well as an indication of Turner’s renderings of the church elsewhere in his oeuvre, see the entry for folio 17 verso (D17235).
At the top of the page are two, simple, curved lines. These meet, intersecting slightly, in a way that suggests a hilly prospect, although there are no distinguishing features from which to hang a topographical reading of the brief doodle.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.604.

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