Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Droit House, Margate, at Sunset; a Boat with Figures; Coastal Studies

c.1831–45

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 172 × 155 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34585
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 191v

Catalogue entry

There are at least four sketches here. The upper third is taken up with a rough but rather convoluted drawing which appears to be a single view of Droit House and the stone pier at Margate, looking north-west from the Great Beach at dusk, with the crescent of the new moon in the sky which is already ‘Cold and Dark’ according to Turner’s note, albeit with ‘Light’ still on the horizon over the sea.
The three remaining studies were evidently made on at least one different occasion. Above the centre, a characterful study of three figures in an apparently very small boat is accompanied by typically careful, if slightly crabbed, colour notes concerning their dress: ‘[?Master Jac... ?brown] | coverd [?with] a [?bronze] | Red [?Headscarf] | All [?th colors]’.
Below are two very slight studies of landscapes and buildings, perhaps made from an unsteady boat. The first is annotated: ‘[?White H...]’. In physical respects (see the technical notes below) and its Margate-related subject matter, this drawing is closely related to a number of others in this subsection and elsewhere, as discussed under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a).
Technical notes:
Tate D34582–D34585 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 190, 190v, 191, 191v) are all on a single sheet, folded vertically (the horizontal dimensions given above being for the whole sheet with notches at the head and foot of the fold. D34582 is to the right of the present work on one side, with D34583 and D34584 respectively on their other sides. The partial watermark ‘mlett’ on other sheets in the sequence discussed under Tate D23337 likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1

Matthew Imms
August 2016

1
See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016, http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/devon-paper-trades-exeter.html.

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