Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sky Studies from the Great Beach, Margate, with Jarvis’s Landing Place and Fort Point


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 171 × 94 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36d

Catalogue entry

There are four related studies here, probably made in relatively quick succession and divided by horizontal pencil lines. Margate’s stone pier is perhaps indicated on the left at the top; the two central views are framed by the jetty of Jarvis’s Landing Place and the white cliff of Fort Point, looking north from the Great Beach. For more in the Margate setting, see the Introduction to the present subsection.
The written comments are typical of many such studies. In the first sketch they are limited to ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ areas of sea below the towering clouds; the next is variously annotated ‘Rain’, ‘W’, ‘warm light’, ‘Light grey’, ‘Yellow’ and ‘Light [...] round the [...]’; ‘Sea light’ is the only note in the third; and the ‘grey’ sky with a ‘Red streak’ in the last suggests the time is now around sunset.
See under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a) for closely related works in this Margate subsection and elsewhere.
Technical notes:
The partial watermark ‘mlett’ likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1
Finberg somewhat misleadingly described Tate D34337–D34341 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a–e) as ‘Five sheets from a sketch book ... on blue paper’.2 In fact they are on two matching bifolio unstitched sheets of white paper, presumably once folded within one another, with notches at the head and foot of the fold. D34341 (e) and D34337 (a) are on the left and right of one face, with D34338 (b) on the back of (a); D34339 (c) is on the right-hand side of one face of the second sheet, the left-hand side having been largely torn away, with the present work on its verso. The horizontal given above dimension includes the stub of the other half, the actual dimension of this intact section being approximately 75 mm.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016,
Finberg 1909, II, p.1108.

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