Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping with a Dome in the Distance, Perhaps in the Pool of London or at Greenwich; ?a Mast and Sail


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 98 × 76 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 17 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, the lower half is taken up with a swift study of shipping off distant buildings. The dome is possibly that of St Paul’s Cathedral, viewed from the River Thames at the Pool of London; there are many clearer examples in the sketchbooks in the ‘Thames, London and South of England 1821–7’ section of this catalogue and elsewhere, likely made at the beginning or end of journeys by steamer down the Kent Estuary to Margate (see under folio 10 verso; D35776).
There may be a hint of a second dome to the right, raising the possibility of Greenwich Hospital (later the Royal Naval College); see folios 43 verso and 44 recto (D35834–D35835; Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 42a, 43).
The separate sketch at the top may show a mast and sail, drawn with the page horizontal.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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