Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Waterfront at Southampton, with God’s House Gate and Tower


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 74 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVII 61 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, at the top is a view of the southern waterfront and walls of Southampton, apparently with the spire of Holyrood Church beyond; the view continues along the old western waterfront on folio 62 recto opposite (D18109), with the spire of St Michael’s. Later developments make the precise viewpoint uncertain; the section the other way up at the bottom seems effectively to be a continuation to the right, with the shallow triangular roof of God’s House Gate and the massive, buttressed God’s House Tower (now a museum), which stand near the Town Quay at the south-east corner of the walls. See also the distant views on folio 59 verso (D18104), and compare the 1817 painting by the Rev. Richard Hume Lancaster (Tate N01428) and Turner’s later Guernsey sketchbook (Tate D23607; Turner Bequest CCLII 47), where the buildings are seen from the opposite direction.
Finberg’s tentative identification of this page and that opposite as showing Southampton1 is the only one confirmed of the very few he made in the whole sketchbook. This is one of a sequence of views in the Southampton area; see under folio 58 verso (D18102).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Finberg 1909, I, p.628.

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