Joseph Mallord William Turner

Margate, with Figures and Boats on the Great Beach between the Pier and Fort Point


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 172 × 154 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 133

Catalogue entry

These three sketches, presumably made on the same occasion and separated by horizontal pencil lines, show figures at work and leisure on the Great Beach at Margate. The central one, with the sun low over the sea west of the stone pier and lighthouse, unusually makes use of smudging to suggest tone, while hatching adds solidity to the chalk cliffs of Fort Point, at the north-east end of the beach in the view at the bottom.

See under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a) for closely related works in this Margate subsection and elsewhere.
Technical notes:
The partial watermark ‘mlett’ on the similar sheet Tate D34493 mentioned below likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1
This and Tate D34493 and D34495 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 132, 134) are on tall, narrow halves of folded sheets (with notches at the head and foot of the fold) similar to several other once-folded bifolio sheets in this subsection and elsewhere, as discussed under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a). The horizontal dimension of the half actually drawn on is 77 mm.
See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016,

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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