Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Margaret’s Bay

c.1821–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17314
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 64

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook inverted according to its foliation, Turner fills this page with two sketches of tall, imposing cliffs which tower above him as he records them from sea level. An inscription across the leftmost drawing was identified by Finberg as ‘Margaret’s’, which he interpreted as a reference to St Margaret’s Bay near Dover in Kent.1 It seems likely that the drawing on the left looks along the chalk cliffs at St Margaret’s towards the northeast, while the drawing on the right takes a more south-westerly view at the same spot. This location seems to hold Turner’s interest across a number of consecutive pages following this one, between folio 64 verso and folio 66 verso (D17315–D17319). There seem to be additional sketches of the location on folios 35 verso and 69 recto (D17267 and D17324).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.606.

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