Joseph Mallord William Turner

Margate: The Great Beach with Droit House, the Pier and Lighthouse, Jarvis’s Landing Place, and a Smoking Steamer


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 242 × 301 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 173

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This scene of a steam-boat off the coast may show the seaside resort of Margate. The town was accessible by steam-boat, and was favoured by Londoners. Turner often used it as a base from which to explore the Kentish coast.

Turner retained an affection for Margate throughout his life. As a boy he had stayed in the town with relatives of his mother and in later life he rented rooms there, overlooking the harbour and pier.

Gallery label, February 2004

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