J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Beach with Fishing Boats and Figures, with a Man-of-War in the Distance c.1801-2

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Verso:
A Beach with Fishing Boats and Figures, with a Man-of-War in the Distance c.1801–2
D03983
Turner Bequest LXVII 7a
Ink on white wove paper prepared with a grey-blue wash, 118 x 182 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject is continued on folio 8 recto opposite (D03984). Turner’s drawing has expanded to fill both pages of the opening, and his beach is crowded with boats and impedimenta. The central motif of men hauling on a line was to become the main subject of the painting Wreckers, – Coast of Northumberland, with a Steam-Boat Assisting a Ship off Shore, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven)1 and several other coastal subjects.
In shore subjects such as this Turner anticipates the beach scenes drawn in pen and ink by John Constable (1776–1837) at Brighton in about 1824, though Turner instinctively chooses a dramatic rather than a tranquil moment.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.206–7 no.357, pl.360 (colour).

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘A Beach with Fishing Boats and Figures, with a Man-of-War in the Distance c.1801–2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-beach-with-fishing-boats-and-figures-with-a-man-of-war-in-r1178287, accessed 19 January 2022.