Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Vessels Passing the North Berwick Coast and Nearby Islands


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 CC 8

Catalogue entry

Continuing from folio 7 verso (D17521), and with the sketchbook turned to the left are sketches of the islands and coastline near north Berwick, as well as several drawings of boats. At the top right of the page is a view of North Berwick Law from the sea to the north-east (Turner was travelling by boat to Edinburgh; see folio 1 verso; D17509), and the conical-shaped hill is depicted again in the sketch below, which also shows Dirleton Castle to its right (see folio 7 verso).
At the top left is a study of a boat in full sail, its foresail square-rigged and its mainsail fore-and-aft rigged and close-hauled to catch the wind from the south. There are two more sailing boats in the sketch below, seen passing Fidra and heading towards the Isle of May. Fidra is depicted again below, and beneath this are May (left), Craigleith (middle) and Fidra (right) once more, with a vessel passing between. The sketch at the bottom of the page shows the islands of Lamb and Craigleith with a faint line for the coast beyond.

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

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