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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Dover Castle 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
?Dover Castle 1827
Turner Bequest CCVII 13
Pencil on white wove paper, 100 x 74 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?D...r]’ towards top left
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCVII – 13’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, there are four very rapid studies here of a castle on a hill or cliff-top; there is a slight continuation from the bottom sketch on folio 12 verso opposite (D18012). The inscription scrawled at the top left may be intended for Dover. If so, Turner perhaps visited it by sea on a trip along the South Coast while staying at East Cowes Castle for regatta events on the Isle of Wight from late July 1827, as discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction.
The castle appears in the mid-1820s watercolours Dover from Shakespeare’s Cliff (private collection),1 engraved in 1826 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (Tate impressions: T04424, T05246–T05251, T06000), Dover (D18154; Turner Bequest CCVIII U),2 engraved in 1827 for the Ports of England (Tate impressions: T04828, T04829) and Straits of Dover (currently untraced),3 engraved in 1828 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (no Tate impression); see Alice Rylance-Watson’s entry for D18154 for details of Dover drawings in other sketchbooks.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.355 no.483, reproduced.
Ibid., p.387 no.753, reproduced.
Ibid., p.393 no.797.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?Dover Castle 1827 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, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-dover-castle-r1183501, accessed 21 May 2024.