In August 1825 Turner was abroad in the Low Countries, and it is possible that some of the women and girls here, in somewhat exotic bonnets, were observed there, although drawings on nearby pages show the familiar scene from the top of Richmond Hill (see the Introduction). Despite Finberg’s characterisation of the drawing as ‘on the seashore’,1 there is no indication of the setting except a slight vertical which might suggest the mast of a sailing boat such as those apparently shown on folio 1 recto (D18595).
The scene is animated by the presence of a lightly worked, pale blue watercolour sky, although it is unclear whether this or the figures came first. From folio 9 recto (D18609) onwards there is a lengthy sequence of sky and landscape studies in watercolour alone.
Finberg 1909, II, p.646.