Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on a Beach or Quay with Fishing Boats, Probably in Devon


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 81

Catalogue entry

Turner’s rapid sketch of this bustling scene focuses on a dozen or more figures in the foreground, where there seem to be fish indicated, suggesting a fish-market scene of the kind he painted on numerous occasions. There is a sketch of a similar scene at St Mawes later in the sketchbook on folio 136 recto (D08620; CXXIII 133). The buildings on the right here are similar to those recorded there, but without an indication of their wider context it is not possible to make a definite link. Although the sequence of sketches in this book is not strictly geographical, the context of the page at this point suggests a South Devon setting is more likely.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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