Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dover from the Castle with Sea-View beyond

c.1822–3

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 257 x 178 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17735
Turner Bequest CCII 16

Catalogue entry

Finberg thought this drawing to be a possible view of Hastings.1 The view is actually of Dover, taken from the east cliff close to the castle looking back over the town, with the peak of Shakespeare Cliff seen beyond the harbour.2 The drawing is similar to the colour study Dover Castle with the Channel Beyond (Tate D25308; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 186) which may suggest that Turner contemplated making a larger watercolour of this view.3
Turner has applied broad fields of colour in translucent wash, layered to produce a prismatic effect (this is at its most subtle in the sky but also appears in the land formations sloping from left to right). By focusing on the rendering of colour and light Turner depicts the impression of the place, its evocative and atmospheric aspects.
There are two other views of Dover in this sketchbook on folios 14 and 18 (Tate D17733, D17737; Turner Bequest CCII 14, 18). See also two views of Dover taken from the castle in the Holland sketchbook of 1825 (Tate D19350, D19353; Turner Bequest CCXIV 257, 258a).
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.615.
2
Warrell 1991, p.35, no.17.
3
Ibid.
Verso:
Blank

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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