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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dover Castle above the Harbour; Study of a Sunset Sky with a Distant Ship; ?Sails in the Harbour 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Dover Castle above the Harbour; Study of a Sunset Sky with a Distant Ship; ?Sails in the Harbour 1825
D18841
Turner Bequest CCXIV 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 155 x 95 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘O[?rang...]’, ‘Red’, ‘Red’ and ‘Cold’ centre left, on sky and sea
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXIV – 1’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Three slight sketches run down the page. At the top is a rapid study of Dover Castle overlooking the harbour, with cliffs running east towards the South Foreland on the right and slight indications of masts; it is continued very briefly to the left inside the front cover opposite (D40991). Across the middle is a careful study of a cloudy sky towards sunset, with typical colour annotations; see also folio 2 verso (D18844). The tiny, silhouetted sailing ship in the right distance suggests that the view is west from the harbour, which is shown again in the last and slightest sketch, with indications of sails and a single figure on the shore.
For the numerous other views around Dover in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 2 recto (D18843), where the castle is seen in the distance.
Technical notes:
There is some rubbing and a slight nick to the centre of the outer edge owing to the proximity of the brass clasp inside the front cover opposite (D40991).

Matthew Imms
September 2020

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Dover Castle above the Harbour; Study of a Sunset Sky with a Distant Ship; ?Sails in the Harbour 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-dover-castle-above-the-harbour-study-of-a-sunset-sky-with-a-r1202193, accessed 18 June 2024.