Joseph Mallord William Turner

Warships in Portsmouth Harbour; Portchester Castle from the South-East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 160 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVI 11 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there are four studies here. At the top is a group of moored warships in Portsmouth Harbour. Below are three successively closer views of the medieval keep of Portchester Castle, within the massive outer walls of the third-century Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ fort,1 as Turner approached by water from the south-east. The lower two show the gateway which gives onto the foreshore on the east side of the Roman compound. There are further views on folios 12 recto and verso (D17935, D17936).
This is one of a continuous series of views around Portsmouth between folios 1 recto and 20 recto (D17913–D17951); many appear to have been made from a boat; for the overall sequence and details of the most prominent buildings and defences, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See ‘Portchester Castle’, English Heritage, accessed 14 December 2014,

Read full Catalogue entry

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