Joseph Mallord William Turner

Herm Island; Boats at Harbour; A Lighthouse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 48

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the drawings on this page depict distant coastal land-masses and descriptions of harbour infrastructure. The dense cluster of sketchy marks in the bottom left-hand quadrant depicts sail-boats and smaller vessels closely packed into a dock area. Jagged lines and jabbed vertical lines to the right of this scene may depict a small crowd of people. The lighthouse on a jetty in the bottom right-hand quadrant, which continues over onto folio 47 verso opposite (D23608; Turner Bequest CCLII 47a), appear to form a continuous view with the distant boats in the centre of the page and the line of islands on the horizon. One of these land-masses is identified as Herm Island in the English Channel within view of St Peter Port, Guernsey, thus providing a potential location for the various other scenes on the page.

John Chu
April 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop