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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dover from the Castle with Sea-View beyond c.1822-3

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 16 Recto
Dover from the Castle with Sea-View beyond c.1822–3
Turner Bequest CCII 16
Watercolour on paper, 257 x 178 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘16’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCII–16’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg thought this drawing to be a possible view of Hastings.1 The view is actually of Dover, taken from the east cliff close to the castle looking back over the town, with the peak of Shakespeare Cliff seen beyond the harbour.2 The drawing is similar to the colour study Dover Castle with the Channel Beyond (Tate D25308; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 186) which may suggest that Turner contemplated making a larger watercolour of this view.3
Turner has applied broad fields of colour in translucent wash, layered to produce a prismatic effect (this is at its most subtle in the sky but also appears in the land formations sloping from left to right). By focusing on the rendering of colour and light Turner depicts the impression of the place, its evocative and atmospheric aspects.
There are two other views of Dover in this sketchbook on folios 14 and 18 (Tate D17733, D17737; Turner Bequest CCII 14, 18). See also two views of Dover taken from the castle in the Holland sketchbook of 1825 (Tate D19350, D19353; Turner Bequest CCXIV 257, 258a).
Finberg 1909, I, p.615.
Warrell 1991, p.35, no.17.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Dover from the Castle with Sea-View beyond c.1822–3 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-dover-from-the-castle-with-sea-view-beyond-r1148305, accessed 28 May 2024.