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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Boats, with Figures on Shore, Possibly at Greenwich 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 53 Recto:
Boats, with Figures on Shore, Possibly at Greenwich 1825
Turner Bequest CCXIII 53
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 187 mm
Part watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[...]’ below left of centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘53’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXIII – 53’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This drawing is one of two shore scenes facing each other (see also folio 52 verso opposite; D18784) but otherwise isolated within a long run of blank pages. The buildings on the right here may be the twin riverfront pavilions of Greenwich Hospital (later the Royal Naval College), overlooking the Thames, seen from the east. The subject was long familiar to Turner; see under Tate D08131 (Turner Bequest CXVII D). The classical details are somewhat casual and inaccurate, but one of the site’s twin domes may be loosely indicated on the right. Compare the aspect shown in James Holland’s 1862 watercolour Greenwich Hospital as it was in 1837 (Tate N03051).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Boats, with Figures on Shore, Possibly at Greenwich 1825 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-boats-with-figures-on-shore-possibly-at-greenwich-r1172907, accessed 23 April 2021.