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: 187 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 65 a

Catalogue entry

Continuing a series of several similar studies in this portion of the sketchbook, here Turner describes jagged coastal cliffs observed from sea level with the sketchbook turned vertically. Towards the bottom right corner the foaming spray of a lively wave is thrown upwards, and fluidly rendered lines show where the water meets the vertical rock face of the cliffs.
The harsh shapes and absence of any view of land beyond the cliff formation link this sketch with a consecutive group of drawings on folios 64 recto, 64 verso, 65 recto, 66 recto, and 66 verso (D17314–D17316, D17318–D17319). These seem to be studies made at St Margaret’s Bay, near Dover, which shed some light on the topography recorded here. An earlier drawing on folio 35 verso (D17267) and later on folio 69 recto (D17324) also engage with this location.
Technical notes:
As highlighted by Finberg, part of the page has been torn away and since made up with similar paper.1 The dimensions of the surviving original page are 130 x 113 mm.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.606.

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