Joseph Mallord William Turner

Vessels at Chatham, on the River Medway

c.1821

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17397
Turner Bequest CXCIX 19 a

Catalogue entry

As identified by Finberg, this page describes vessels at Chatham on the River Medway.1 Two ships of the line occupy the foreground, seemingly beached; a suggestion prompted by the visibility of the hulls and their distance from the lightly pencilled diagonal across the bottom left corner which seems to mark the line of the tide. At far left, additional boats are described in the distance. At far right, an angular, zigzagging line seems to represent buildings along the harbour front. Land rises up behind all of these components, levelling off quickly to present a flat prospect across the right half of the sheet.
For a comprehensive list of drawings in this sketchbook which take Chatham as their subject, see the entry for folio 22 recto (D17402).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.608.

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