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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A View along the English Channel towards Folkestone, with the Martello Towers above Copt Point 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
A View along the English Channel towards Folkestone, with the Martello Towers above Copt Point 1825
D18851
Turner Bequest CCXIV 6
Pencil on white wove paper, 95 x 155 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Le Ca...]’ top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXIV – 6’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, the view is from the Channel cliffs west of Dover (see under folio 2 recto; D18843), looking south-west towards Folkestone (see under folio 8 recto; D18855), with the tower of St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church in the middle distance, and the profile of the coast towards Dungeness on the horizon above. The sketch is one of a short sequence progressing the seven miles or so westwards between the towns.
Towards the foreground, aligned north to south, are three Martello towers (numbers 1, 2 and 3 of the Kent sequence), built during the Napoleonic Wars towards Copt Point, overlooking the end of East Wear Bay.1 They are seen from below Dover Hill, around the vicinity of what is now Swiss Way. There is a view from nearby in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook of about 1816–19 (Tate D10475–D10476; Turner Bequest CXL 34a–35). See folio 22 verso (D18883) for more of the forts, to the west of Folkestone.
The sun is shown over the sea in the main view, with a characteristic zig-zag marking its reflection; a separate profile of low hills at the top right is likely an immediate continuation of the main view, although the significance of Turner’s brief annotation is unclear. There is a similar prospect, in two parts, on the verso (D18852), and a slighter sketch on folio 7 recto (D18853).
1
See Peter Faulkner ed., ‘Martello Towers in Kent’, Martello Towers, accessed 27 February 2020, https://martellotowers.co.uk/kent.
Technical notes:
There is a dark finger print at the centre right.

Matthew Imms
September 2020

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A View along the English Channel towards Folkestone, with the Martello Towers above Copt Point 1825 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2020, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2023, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-view-along-the-english-channel-towards-folkestone-with-the-r1202203, accessed 25 May 2024.