Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunbar Harbour

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13370
Turner Bequest CLXV 26 a

Catalogue entry

This is one of many drawings of rocks or crags off the coast between Dunbar and North Berwick. Considering this page’s proximity to drawings of Dunbar Harbour, especially to a drawing of the rocks at the harbour mouth (folio 25; D13367; CLXV 25), it is likely that these too are the hazardous rocks at the entrance to the harbour of Dunbar. While these sketches are topographically obscure, the subject of these crags – their shapes and especially their formations – seem to have interested Turner as he made numerous studies. By collecting various examples Turner secured the appearance of these very geological features in his memory and was able to recreate their appearance in his resulting watercolours.

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

Read full Catalogue entry

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