Joseph Mallord William Turner

Seaport in the Grand Style


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1727 × 2432 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

529. [N05544] Seaport in the Grand Style c. 1830–40?


Canvas, 68 × 95 3/4 (172·5 × 243·5)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (250, 1 unidentified 8'0" × 5'8 1/2"; identified 1975 by chalk number on back; see below); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1947.

Lit. Davies 1946, pp. 168, 190 nn. 23 and 26.

In the 1854 Schedule no. 250 [N05480] is annotated in pencil ‘marked 270 (bis)’. The confusion was the subject of a note in the revised Schedule of 1856 as follows: ‘Among the picture removed to the National Gallery in pursuance of the Agreement dated 21 June 1854, two pictures were found numbered 270; one only, of small dimensions, being included in Schedule A [i.e., that of 1854; see No. 281 [N05484] ]. That picture is now numbered 270*, the other of larger dimensions, being numbered 270. An unfinished picture of large dimensions, numbered 250 in Schedule A, was not found among the pictures transferred to the National Gallery, but was found, so numbered, in Queen Anne St [Turner's studio] and, together with the other works found there has now been removed to the National Gallery’. This large picture was No. 529 [N05544].

There is a hole in the canvas near the top right-hand corner and two small tears bottom left; these have been provisionally secured. The picture is still very dirty and is in need of further treatment.

Most of the ground was left uncovered, but where Turner has begun work he has shown ships and architectural forms in considerable detail, those on the right being drawn with the brush rather than painted however. These features suggest that Turner was planning another Carthaginian port scene. The date could be any time between 1815 and 1840, probably more towards the latter.

Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984

You might like

In the shop