Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coastal Views around Ostend


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCIII 21

Catalogue entry

There are three or four interrelated sketches here, made with the page turned horizontally. Turner’s note at the bottom confirms the subject as Ostend, with overlapping views of its foreshore and defences, with the slender lighthouse (since replaced) overlooking the harbour channel towards the top right, and the urban skyline of towers, spires and a windmill at the top, along the gutter. That aspect is labelled ‘2’, with a ‘1’ near the place name towards the bottom left.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll have suggested this page and a few others ‘contain features which have some connection’ with the oil seascape Ostend Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1844 (Neue Pinakothek, Munich),1 ‘although they are in so summary a shorthand style that it is difficult to be certain of a direct relationship.’2 See folio 6 recto (D30470) for one possible source.
For numerous Ostend views on adjacent pages of this book, marking the end of Turner’s 1840 tour, see under folio 1 recto (D30460). This is the last as foliated, but as Turner had generally been using this sketchbook in reverse of its subsequently numbered sequence, it may well show his first impressions upon reaching the port, hence the emphatic inscription.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.254–5 no.407, pl.412 (colour).
Ibid., p.255.

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