Joseph Mallord William Turner

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

1811

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 75 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08521
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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