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Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 307 × 488 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 81

Catalogue entry

Unlike Tate D25166 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 44), a colour study clearly identifiable as showing Margate, Kent, this work’s subject is elusive; it too has been suggested as Margate, by Eric Shanes.1 A finished watercolour, Margate of about 1830 (Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry),2 was engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04590–T04592, T06098); that view shows a foreground of fields and trees, some way from the sea, with a view to the east towards the town’s harbour and cliffs. It is possible that the latter features are indicated here very loosely as the backdrop to the boats and figures apparently indicated towards the bottom right, although the resemblance may be fortuitous and is likely to remain unconfirmed. For further discussion of the subject, see under D25166.
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
Shanes 1997, pp.96, 99, 101, 105.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.398 no.839, reproduced.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘AB 150 P | O’ top left, upside down; stamped in ink with Turner Bequest monogram above ‘CCLXIII – 81’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII. 81’ bottom right.
The ‘AB’ number corresponds with the endorsement on one of the parcels of works sorted by John Ruskin during his survey of the Turner Bequest, in this case classified by him as ‘Colour dashes on white. Valueless’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.814.

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