Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Vessel off the Coast

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 x 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13380
Turner Bequest CLXV 33 a

Catalogue entry

This page shows a twin-masted sailing boat making its way north-east up the coast near Tantallon Castle, perhaps towards Leith. The coastline is identifiable by the combination of a pyramidal and rectangular shape which are North Berwick Law and Tantallon Castle respectively (see folio 6 verso; D13332; CLXV 6a). Above the sailing vessel Turner has drawn the coastline again from a slightly different angle, just south of the previous drawing. The large rock on the left of each drawing could perhaps be Bass Rock, and the island in the middle of the top sketch may be Craigleith. To see this scene, Turner must have himself been on a boat, or else it is reconstructed from parts, or imagined.

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

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