Made with the sketchbook turned vertically, at the top of this page Turner renders a delicate and detailed panoramic view of shipping on the River Medway, as identified by Finberg.1 In the centre foreground a boat and its stretched, angular sail are fully realised. Further back a cluttered tangle of hulls and masts intersect on the horizon with architectural structures stationed on the riverbank. At far right a small sliver of land is indicated. The impression is of a slice of bustling waterway, populated with both occupied and docked vessels, all rendered neatly and precisely.
The rest of the sheet, beneath the miniature panorama, is taken up with the continuation of a drawing which originates on folio 2 verso (D17368). This sketch has been made with the book oriented horizontally, as per its regular foliation. The current portion of the composition is given over mainly to the topographical character of the river bank, which gently swoops upwards from water level, peaking and toughing as it extends into the distance around the centre of the page. Vertical dashes of Turner’s pencil seem to indicate reeds or some such iteration of plant life. At far left, emerging from the gutter, the simplified hull of a sailing vessel is evident.
Finberg 1909, I, p.607.
- River Medway(122)