Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on a Beach, with ?Sailing Boats

c.1826–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk, gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 139 x 191 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24591
Turner Bequest CCLIX 26

Catalogue entry

This seems to be a scene of recreational visitors to a beach (see the Introduction for other examples), with figures standing, sitting and reclining, and looking out to the blue horizon. The white shapes to the right are presumably the sails of one or more boats.
As discussed in the Introduction, this is one of the subjects of figures by the sea which Ian Warrell tentatively suggested as linked to Brighton around 1827, while noting that they could equally well show scenes in England or France on other occasions.1
1
See Warrell 1989, pp.120, 123 note 114.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘26 – 498’ top left, ‘D.24591’ bottom left, and with another pencil number, obscured towards the bottom right. There is a border of white paper or tape, indicating that the sheet was formerly mounted.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

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