Finberg equivocated as to whether this is a sunset or sunrise subject.1 It has been exhibited as a possible Margate view at sunrise,2 although if the structure on the left is Margate’s stone pier and Droit House and/or the lighthouse, seen from the Great Beach, the view is to the west and may show a summer sunset; compare Tate D24640 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 75).
If recalled from memory or created as a general evocation of such a scene with the topography secondary to the effect, a summer dawn is a possibility even while still evoking Margate, especially given Turner’s propensity for compressing wide, panoramic vistas into a conventionally proportioned composition. For more on the likely Margate setting, see the Introduction to this subsection.
Blank; inscribed by ?John Ruskin in pencil ‘AB 79 P | O’ top left, upside down; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCCLXIV – 231’ bottom right.
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