Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Distant Views of Ostend; Sky Studies


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 175

Catalogue entry

This leaf bears an array of cursory sketches depicting the port of Ostend at a distance as well as two sky studies. These views were recorded on Turner’s approach to that Flemish city on 7 September 1824 (see also Tate D19898–D19900; Turner Bequest CCXVI 173a–174a). In both prospects of Ostend windmills and towers can be seen, including one with a distinctly conical shaped spire belonging to the Peperbusse, or St Peter’s Tower. The sky studies are paired with roughly dashed off annotations, such as: ‘red the only trace of warm colour’ and ‘rays’ [of light] blue’. There is also a tiny sketch of a long wooden cart and what appears to be a scallop shell at the upper register. Turner has inscribed an almost illegible note next to these diminutive jottings which may describe the cart in some way. This cataloguer has been able to transcribe the following: ‘[?Tumbrel] Cart [...] of and for [...] and [?sails] and [?cover] [?them] half or whole [...] the Cloth of the [...]’.
Finberg catalogued this leaf and its verso: Tate D19902; Turner Bequest CCXVI 175a as ‘Missing’ in his 1909 Inventory.1

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

Finberg 1909, vol.II, p.676.

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