Joseph Mallord William Turner

?The ‘Gomer’ Arriving in Portsmouth Harbour, Attended by Boats

1844

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 74 × 116 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35695
Turner Bequest CCCLXII 6 a

Catalogue entry

Like the other rapid sketches in this book, this relates to the arrival of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, at Portsmouth Harbour in October 1844, as discussed in the Introductions to the sketchbook and the overall section.
Apparently inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this very slight drawing may show small boats around the diagonal form of steps aft of the rounded paddlewheel housing on the starboard side of the King’s large hybrid sail-steamship, the Gomer, as shown in the detailed 1846 painting Débarquement de Louis-Philippe à Portsmouth, le 8 octobre 1844 by Eugène Isabey (1803–1886; Château de Versailles). Compare one of Turner’s watercolour studies (Tate D35959; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 116), and see under folio 1 verso (D35686) for other sketches of the vessel. In particular, folio 11 verso (D35704) seems to be a slightly more detailed rendering of the same scene.
The word or brief phrase at the top right is effectively illegible.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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