Joseph Mallord William Turner

From Scarborough Harbour, Looking South past the Lighthouse

c.1816–18

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 117 x 180 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11942
Turner Bequest CL 23

Catalogue entry

This sketch records the view from the quay of Scarborough Harbour, looking south down the lighthouse jetty to the lighthouse. The ships seen against the light in the harbour to the left are perhaps reminiscent of some of the harbour paintings of the French seventeenth-century painter Claude Lorraine, of whom Turner was particularly fond. A small lightship appears in the right foreground and similar vessels appear in another sketch in the sequence (D11926; Turner Bequest CL 10) which appears to continue, more or less, the panorama to the right. In the distance, just to the right of the lightship, can be seen the triangular rock that appears in a number of other sketches (for example D11924; Turner Bequest CL 8).
The sketch was cited in the 1980 York exhibition catalogue in relation to a later watercolour of Scarborough (Tate D18142; Turner Bequest CCVIII I)1 engraved in 1826. However, the watercolour was taken from a completely different viewpoint in the south bay looking towards the harbour.
1
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.387 no.751.
Verso:
Blank, except for an inscription by ?John Ruskin in red ink bottom left ‘168 Invent’ (see notes to folio 3, D11945; Turner Bequest CL 26).

David Hill
September 2008

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