Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of the Coast and Sky at Ostend, with the Spire of St Peter’s Church

1840

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 104 × 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30471
Turner Bequest CCCIII 6 a

Catalogue entry

The three drawings were made one above the other with the page turned horizontally. The top one shows clouds and rain over a nondescript coastline, while those below show aspects of Ostend, with the old lighthouse and a windmill near the harbour channel in the middle view, and the skyline of the town, with the spire of the old St Peter’s Church (the ‘Peperbusse’), along the gutter, annotated below in tiny writing on folio 7 recto opposite (D30472).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll have suggested this page and a few others ‘contain features which have some connection’ with the oil seascape Ostend Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1844 (Neue Pinakothek, Munich),1 ‘although they are in so summary a shorthand style that it is difficult to be certain of a direct relationship.’2 See folio 6 recto (D30470) for one possible source.
Niamh Mac Nally has also noted this page in relation to a watercolour now known as Ostend Harbour (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin),3 showing the lighthouse and a nearby windmill against a sunset sky.4 For numerous other Ostend views on adjacent pages, marking the end of Turner’s 1840 tour, see under folio 1 recto (D30460).5

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.254–5 no.407, pl.412 (colour).
2
Ibid., p.255.
3
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.469 no.1408, as ‘Yarmouth’, reproduced.
4
See Mac Nally 2012, p.106.
5
See also Powell 1995, pp.72, 82 note 71, 246.

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