The exact subject of this watercolour sketch, featuring blue, grey, brown, and yellow washes, is difficult to discern although breaking rainclouds and a turbulent sea are clearly involved. David Blayney Brown draws a comparison between this and the major oil painting Seascape: Folkestone of about 1845 (private collection)1 and, like Ian Warrell, makes a convincing case that the brown form at the centre of the page is a steamship caught in a rainstorm.2 The grey zigzag directed towards the top right corner may represent the exhaust expelled from the vessel’s chimney. Certainly such a subject would be consistent with the character of the Boulogne coastline during the 1840s as the port became the pre-eminent destination for cross-Channel steam packets.3
As detailed in the Introduction to this sketchbook, this leaf is a possible candidate for one of its ‘drawn on’ inside covers as described by Finberg when the volume had yet to be broken up.4
There is a margin of mottled discolouration to the left of the page.
A margin of mottled brown discolouration runs down the extreme right of the page.