Joseph Mallord William Turner

Margate: Figures at Jarvis’s Landing Place with the Lighthouse Beyond and a Distant Steamer

c.1829–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 139 x 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24834
Turner Bequest CCLIX 269

Catalogue entry

The setting is Margate’s Great Beach, with a crowd figures on the shore and on the jetty of Jarvis’s Landing Place, and the lighthouse silhouetted against afternoon light to the west. Some at least seem to be waiting for a distant steamer, lightly outlined on the horizon, to arrive down the Thames Estuary; see also some of the groupings categorised elsewhere in this catalogue as ‘Figures on a Beach c.1826–45’, and compare the immediacy of some of the rapidly painted but deftly characterised figures in the blue paper gouache studies made at Petworth House in 1827 (Tate; Turner Bequest CCXLIV). For more details of the Margate setting, see the Introduction to this subsection.
Technical notes:
There is a prominent finger print on the darkest figure towards the left, where some of the dense paint has been lifted straight out again while wet.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX – 269’ top right, descending vertically.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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