Joseph Mallord William Turner

Portsmouth Harbour


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 160 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVI 16 a

Catalogue entry

This page comprises five bands of views along the waterfront of Portsmouth Harbour; in descending order they effectively form a panorama running from Portsmouth to the east across the harbour entrance to the south and on westwards to Gosport. At the top is the Vulcan Block at Gunwharf, as noted by Turner, with a detail of its clock tower; second comes a less detailed section, with the cathedral dome in the third. The next section shows the Baltic Wharf tower and the Round Tower, with two views of the blockhouse and waterfront at Gosport below. Compare the three-part view on folio 18 verso (D17948).
The note ‘Quebec Hotel’ refers to a building which still stands as Quebec House on the waterfront off Bath Square north of the Round Tower; it was built by public subscription for a form of indoor sea bathing, with pipes channelling fresh seawater inside from the harbour with each tide.1
This is one of a continuous series of views around Portsmouth between folios 1 recto and 20 recto (D17913–D17951); many appear to have been made from a boat; for the overall sequence and details of the most prominent buildings and defences, see the Introduction.
See ‘Quebec House, Old Portsmouth’, Hampshire History, accessed 16 December 2014,
Technical notes:
There is a small, dark paper fault or mark about a third of the way in from the outside edge, where the paper is very thin.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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