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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Coastal Views along the English Channel towards Folkestone from the Cliffs near Dover, with a Cloudy Sunset Sky 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Verso:
Coastal Views along the English Channel towards Folkestone from the Cliffs near Dover, with a Cloudy Sunset Sky 1825
D18844
Turner Bequest CCXIV 2a
Pencil on white wove paper, 95 x 155 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[...] yellw’, ‘[?yellw streak]’, ‘[?Misty]’ and ‘[?Comg] on of a Gale’ centre left, around sky study, and ‘Earth’ top right, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page was used both ways for views on the Channel cliffs west of Dover (see under the recto; D18843). The main horizontal view shows rugged cliffs in the foreground, and the coast west-south-west across East Wear Bay towards Folkestone (see under folio 8 recto; D18855), with Martello towers (compare those further west on folio 22 verso; D18883), and the tower of St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church above Folkestone Harbour. At the right, with the page turned vertically, is another profile separated by a pencil line, looking in the other direction with a patch of bare ‘Earth’ noted in the foreground, presumably to differentiate it from the prevailing green of the grass and the famous whiteness of the underlying chalk cliff.
This is the first of a sequence showing views over the sea, progressing westwards from Dover towards Folkestone, an overall distance of about seven miles. It is not clear whether the cloudy sky with the sinking sun to the left of the cliff face relates directly to it; among the typically brief annotations of colours and effects, Turner seems have to remarked on an approaching storm. There is another sunset study, likely from the same occasion, on folio 1 recto (D18841). See also views of Dover from Shakespeare Cliff and the cliffs towards Folkestone on folios 266 recto and verso and 267 recto (D19368–D19370).

Matthew Imms
September 2020

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Coastal Views along the English Channel towards Folkestone from the Cliffs near Dover, with a Cloudy Sunset Sky 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-coastal-views-along-the-english-channel-towards-folkestone-r1202196, accessed 25 May 2024.