Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Semaphore Tower and Other Waterfront Buildings at Portsmouth; the Cupola of Portsmouth Cathedral

1844

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 116 x 74 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35711
Turner Bequest CCCLXII 15

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 on 8 October 1844, as discussed in the Introductions to the sketchbook and the overall section.
With the page turned vertically, there are various slightly jumbled waterfront views around the harbour’s mouth, including the Square Tower semaphore station and the tower of Portsmouth Cathedral,1 with a separate study of its cupola. Compare various detailed views, perhaps made in the summer of 1824, in the London Bridge and Portsmouth sketchbook (for example Tate D17944; Turner Bequest CCVI 16a). For other views of the semaphore tower, see under folio 2 verso (Tate D35688).

Matthew Imms
September 2016

1
See Warrell 2013, p.10.

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