Joseph Mallord William Turner



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 230 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCIII D

Catalogue entry

This pencil drawing may relate to the finished watercolour Fishing Boats on Folkestone Beach (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin) according to Ian Warrell.1 Both Eric Shanes and Warrell find this finished design to be associated with the Ports of England series rather than the Picturesque Views of England and Wales which curator Barbara Dawson has traditionally associated it with.2 If this pencil drawing is connected with the Ports series then it may relate to the previous colour sketch of Folkestone (Tate D17760; Turner Bequest CCIII C).
The drawing is very finely wrought in fine pencil and pen and ink. This form of handling and the fact that the sheet has been annotated indicates that it was intended for engraving, the notes functioning as aids or instructions for the engraver. The architectural details of the medieval Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe atop the headland are clearly delineated, as are those of the surrounding harbour buildings. Turner has inscribed the numbers ‘1’ to ‘21’ on the upper register of the sheet which may relate to the process of translating the design to the metal plate.
There is a pencil sketch on the back of the sheet which is indecipherable.
Warrell 1997, pp.169, 211, note27.
Ibid; Eric Shanes, Turner’s England 1810 – 38, London 1990, p.146, no.116 (colour); Dawson 1988, pp.82–4.
The sheet is stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCIII–D’ at top right and inscribed in pencil ‘33a’ at centre towards left.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

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