Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs near Folkestone


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 21 a

Catalogue entry

This page continues a series of successive drawings between folios 20 verso and 23 recto made along the cliffs between Folkestone and Dover (D17240, D17241, D17242, D17244 and D17245).1 In the main view on the present page, Turner looks eastwards towards Dover, giving the brief, angular impression of what may be a section of Dover Castle towards the top left of the panorama. Towards bottom right a small fishing boat sits on the shore.
In the top right corner of the page, a second sketch takes in the view of Folkestone to the west. The squat forms of three Martello towers gradually diminish in size as the cliff edge recedes into the distance. See folio 5 verso (D17215) for a list of pages in the present sketchbook which describe these coastal fortifications. A taller, more imposing, tower juts out in the middle distance. This is likely to represent the main parish church of Folkestone, Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, which features in many of Turner’s studies of the area and is a recurring landmark throughout this sketchbook. For a comprehensive list of drawings of the church, see the entry for folio 14 verso (D17230).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.604.

Read full Catalogue entry


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