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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Fishermen on the Look-Out c.1830-5

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Fishermen on the Look–Out c.1830–5
Turner Bequest CCLIX 198
Chalk, gouache and watercolour on blue wove paper, 137 x 196 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX – 198’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study shows fishermen in characteristic sou’wester hats on a small quay or pier, looking out to sea with telescopes in the direction of a boat under full sail; there is gear including what may be a wicker lobster pot and floats in the foreground. The lively colour and handling, praised by John Ruskin for its ‘exquisite purity and tenderness of hue’, is comparable with that in Tate D24592 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 27), a contrasting scene of fishermen resting around a beached boat.
See the Introduction for other examples. The dating of c.1835–40 assigned to this sheet for recent exhibitions has been retained, although others may be from as early as 1826.
Technical notes:
The centre of the skeet is somewhat faded from prolonged display in the nineteenth century.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Fishermen on the Look–Out c.1830–5 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, 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-fishermen-on-the-look-out-r1182576, accessed 24 April 2024.