Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping; Fortifications, ?Channel Islands or Normandy


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Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 44 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned vertically, Turner worked multiple small sketches onto this page. The top two sketches record a fortification with towers overlooking an expanse of water although cursory handling has rendered the subject too generic to identify a location precisely. The coast of Channel Islands and the Normandy banks of the Seine abound with such features, as outlined in the Introduction to the sketchbook.
The rest of the page is devoted to views of distant coastlines and sketches of shipping with sails furled or semi-furled. The top two vessels are depicted on the starboard side, the boat immediately beneath is taken from the prow looking down the starboard side, while the bottom vessel is seen on the portside coasting along a distant land-mass. The circular object accompanied by semi-legible inscription to the left-hand side of the page may depict a sun with colour notes, as in folio 2 verso (D23528; Turner Bequest CCLII 2a).

John Chu
April 2014

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