Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on a Beach, near Calais


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 141 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 44

Catalogue entry

This is one of a batch of ink sketches of Calais on blue paper which can be dated on stylistic grounds to the later 1820s. Beyond the beach, where figures are gathering bait, the Fort Rouge can be seen just off the coast on the horizon line. The exact occasion of these studies is unknown although Turner specialist Ian Warrell has suggested a link to the return leg of the artist’s tour of Northern France in the autumn of 1826. 1 See the Introduction to this section for a list of these works.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp. 32, 253 note 86, 254 note 99.
Technical Notes:
The blue paper has faded to a light brown upon exposure to light, leaving a thin margin blue around the edge of the sheet.
Inscribed in pencil with the note ‘CCLX – 44’.

John Chu
March 2016

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