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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Coastline, from Galley Hill to Pevensey Bay c.1806-10

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Recto:
Coastline, from Galley Hill to Pevensey Bay circa 1806–10
Turner Bequest XCI 11
Pencil and white chalk on cream wove paper, prepared with a buff wash, 128 x 201 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘11’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XCI 11’ bottom left, descending vertically
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram, lower right of centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As observed by Eric Shanes, followed by Joyce Townsend and Ian Warrell, this drawing from near Galley Hill (seen on the right) just east of Bexhill towards Pevensey Bay was the basis of the sepia-toned watercolour (Tate D08138; Turner Bequest CXVII K) engraved both for the Liber Studiorum (1811) and Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (1817). Turner’s title for the Liber plate was ‘Martello Towers, near Bexhill, Sussex’ and the sepia shows a chain of these defensive structures stretching into the distance along the beach towards Pevensey Bay. They are not present here, unless as Matthew Imms has suggested, one is under construction in the middle distance. Building of the towers began in 1805 and continued until 1812 by which time the threat of French invasion had passed.
For a drawing probably from near the same spot further up from the beach see folio 10 of the sketchbook (D05627).

David Blayney Brown
March 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Coastline, from Galley Hill to Pevensey Bay c.1806–10 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-coastline-from-galley-hill-to-pevensey-bay-r1130938, accessed 17 May 2022.