Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Ships Bearing up for Anchorage (“The Egremont Seapiece”)’; a Figure Study

c.1799–1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04968
Turner Bequest LXXXI 66

Catalogue entry

The drawing is continued on folio 35 recto opposite (D04969; Turner Bequest LXXXI 67). The ‘Egremont Seapiece’, Ships Bearing up for Anchorage, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1802 (Tate T03868, displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex).1 This study for it is considerably slighter than that on the preceding opening, folios 33 verso–34 recto (D04966–D04967; Turner Bequest LXXXI 64–65), though it deals with the same area of the design.
The curious floating figure at the centre here, somewhat reminiscent of a mermaid, is difficult to interpret or place in any of the subjects going forward in this book, though it may be a ship’s figurehead; see under folio 59 recto (D05017; Turner Bequest LXXXI 115).
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.17 no.18, pl.14 (colour).
Technical notes:
The page is oil–stained in places.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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