Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yarmouth Quay

c.1824

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 x 118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18204
Turner Bequest CCIX 25

Catalogue entry

Here Turner has produced two detailed views of the quay at Yarmouth in Norfolk. With the sketchbook turned upside down he depicts the South Quay, with a canopy-covered fishing boat being navigated by a sailor in the foreground. There is an elegant building at right, decorated with fine moldings, rusticated window arches, pilasters and columns. This is most probably Yarmouth’s Town Hall erected in 1716 and remodeled in the late nineteenth century.1 Turner’s prospect is inscribed with annotations, some of which are legible. They include colour notes such as ‘Y’ which presumably signifies yellow, a note on distances: ‘5 or 10 miles’, and ‘Star M S Bernard’ which may possibly refer to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s invocation of the Virgin Mary as ‘Star of the Sea’. The inscriptions are transcribed in full above.
The sketch at rear is orientated in accordance with the foliation. In it Turner records shipping moored at Yarmouth Harbour.
Further sketches of the quay are found on Tate D18194–D18196, D18202–D18203; Turner Bequest CCIX 20–21, 24–24a. Turner’s sketches of Yarmouth are associated with designs for both the England and Wales (Tate impression T04547) and East Coast engraving schemes, though the latter design, housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, was unpublished.2

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2015

1
John Henry Druery, The Historical and Topographical Notices of Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, and its Environs, London 1826, p.68–9.
2
Wilton 1979, p.394 no.810 and 405 no.904.

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