Joseph Mallord William Turner

?St Margaret’s Bay


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 35 a

Catalogue entry

As identified by Finberg, this prospect describes coastal cliffs and houses.1 At far right Turner makes a small sketch of a lighthouse. This is possibly the South Foreland lighthouse which overlooks chalk cliffs near Dover, a landmark explored throughout the present sketchbook. For a more detailed account of its history, and list of appearances in this book, see the entry for folio 8 recto (D17220).
A view of South Foreland lighthouse would position the present scene around St Margaret’s Bay, northeast of Dover. In any case, the landscape seems compressed, squashed to include the view in both directions. The bay and landscape around St Margaret’s at Cliffe occupies Turner on several occasions in the present sketchbook, specifically between folios 64 recto and 66 verso, and on folio 69 recto (D17314–D17319, D17324). It is also possibly explored in the Dieppe and Kent sketchbook of 1845 (Tate D35531; Turner Bequest CCCLXI 25a).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.605.

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