Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs on Coast; Possibly Between Dover and Folkestone


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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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 34

Catalogue entry

Made with the page inverted relative to the foliation of the sketchbook, the drawing here describes coastal cliffs. It was identified by Finberg as part of a succession of similar prospects in this portion of the sketchbook.1 Harsh marks zigzag down the faces of the rocks in places to indicate the sharp topography, and elsewhere loose hatching denotes broad, flat slices of smoother stone.
The location of these cliffs is somewhat unclear, although the drawings which precede and follow this one suggest that Turner was in the process of making studies of the Kent coast between Folkestone and South Foreland to the north east of Dover. See folios 32 recto to 36 recto (D17261–D17263, D17265–D17268). This drawing might record Turner’s observations as he looked towards the latter chalk headland.
Finberg 1909, I, p.605.
Technical notes:
A small tear made into the bottom edge of this page, towards the left, has since been mended with a glue substance applied to the reverse of this sheet, on folio 34 verso (D17265).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

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