Joseph Mallord William Turner

Petit Bot Bay, Guernsey


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 80 a

Catalogue entry

This page is mostly occupied by a view of Petit Bot Bay on the south coast of Guernsey. The sketch is taken from an inland vantage with a cluster of small buildings in the foreground leading to the small, sheltered bay. One of the island’s distinctive eighteenth-century ‘loophole’ towers, built during the Napoleonic Wars, is centrally positioned in the scene.1 The view is repeated from a position a few paces to the west in a smaller sketch on the right-hand edge of this page, which has been drawn with the sketchbook turned vertically. Art historian Ian Warrell proposes that the Turner’s note of ‘Tippo Bay’ towards the bottom right-hand corner of the page is a phonetic spelling of the local pronunciation of Petit Bot Bay.2 The bay recurs in this volume on folio 82 recto (D23677; Turner Bequest CCLII 82).

John Chu
April 2014

W.H. Clements, Towers of Strength: the Story of the Martello Towers, Barnsley 1999, p.85.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.44.

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