Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hastings from the Sea; Buildings in the Town


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 129 × 205 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIX 22 a

Catalogue entry

The drawings on this leaf are made with the sketchbook inverted and continued on folio 23 (D10372). The upper part of the double-spread is occupied by a view of Hastings seen from off-shore, stretching from the castle to East Hill. The lower portion has a closer view of the town, bringing the same buildings into clearer focus. They are annotated with colour notes. Turner’s careful fact-finding and preparations here bore fruit in the ‘intricately structured and well-observed’1 watercolour Hastings from the Sea (British Museum, London)2 which is dated 1818. By 1822, William Bernard Cooke was planning to engrave the watercolour for a sequel to Views in Sussex, to be called ‘Views at Hastings and its Vicinity’. This never appeared. Intermediate between Turner’s drawing and watercolour are two colour beginnings (Tate D17200, D17201; Turner Bequest CXCVII J, K).
For a similar but slightly less detailed view of Hastings from the shore see folios 24 verso–25 (D10375–D10376). Other views drawn on the Stade and shore at Hastings are on folios 23 verso, 24, 25 verso–29 (D10373, D103774, D10377–9).

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

Shanes 1981, p.21.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.357 no.504.

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