Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping, with Rowing Boats


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk on paper
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXXI 92

Catalogue entry

The subject is continued on folio 48 recto opposite (D04995; Turner Bequest LXXXI 93). This and the drawing on the preceding spread (folios 46 verso–47 recto; D04992–D04993; Turner Bequest LXXXI 90–91) seems to embody preliminary ideas for the painting Sheerness and the Isle of Sheppey, with the Junction of the Thames and the Medway from the Nore, exhibited at Turner’s gallery, 1807 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).1 He apparently began with the notion of painting another ‘lee shore’ subject like that acquired by Samuel Dobree in 1802; see folios 43 verso–44 recto (D04986–D04987; Turner Bequest LXXXI 84–85).
Turner’s annotations suggest that all the drawings between folios 46 verso and 52 recto (D04992–D05003; Turner Bequest LXXXI 90–101) relate to this subject; however, the towering diagonal cloud lightly indicated in this study occurs in the drawing on folios 44 verso–45 recto (D04988–D04989; Turner Bequest LXXXI 86–87), and may relate to the sky in the painting A Coast Scene with Fishermen Hauling a Boat Ashore (‘The Iveagh Seapiece’) of about 1803–4 (English Heritage, Kenwood, London).2

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.49–50 no.62, pl.73.
Ibid., p.109 no.144, pl.149 (colour).

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