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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Walled Harbour, ?Ostend 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Front Cover:
A Walled Harbour, ?Ostend 1839
Pencil on cream laid writing paper, 100 x 156 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘[?F...]’ twice, at bottom right and towards top right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI’ top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Making use of the paste-down of the inside front cover of the sketchbook, Turner has produced two rough sketches of walled harbours: one taken from the sea and the other from within the harbour. There are more harbour scenes on the folio opposite (Tate D28538; Turner Bequest CCXCI 1).
The artist may well be depicting the harbour at Ostend, where the General Steam Navigation Company ran a service to back to London every Tuesday and a service to Dover four times a week.1 Turner is believed to have taken the Saturday service to Ostend from London at the beginning of his tour.2
John Murray, A Hand-book for Travellers on the Continent: Being a Guide Through Holland, Belgium, Prussia, and Northern Germany and Along the Rhine, from Holland to Switzerland, London 1838, p.xxvii, ‘List of Steam-Boats from England to the Continent’.
Cecilia Powell, Turner’s Rivers of Europe: The Rhine, Meuse and Mosel, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1991, p.48.
Technical notes:
The leather loop originally used for fastening the sketchbook or holding a pencil has stained the paper.

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘A Walled Harbour, ?Ostend 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-walled-harbour-ostend-r1150820, accessed 20 January 2022.