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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Folkestone Harbour from the Beach, with St Mary and St Eanswythe's Church in the Distance 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Recto:
Folkestone Harbour from the Beach, with St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church in the Distance 1825
D18861
Turner Bequest CCXIV 11
Pencil on white wove paper, 95 x 155 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘11’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXIV – 11’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, the view is west from the beach outside Folkestone harbour, as tentatively suggested by Finberg.1 The eastern pier runs left in the main view, with a continuation above showing the narrow harbour entrance; St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church stands on the cliff in the distance. The harbour was later considerably expanded and redeveloped, and the sandstone cliffs in the foreground are now shored up by an arcaded concrete promenade.
Along with that on the verso (D18862), the prospect is comparable with an undated watercolour of Fishing Boats on Folkestone Beach, Kent (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin),2 perhaps based more directly on folio 10 verso opposite (D18860), under which the watercolour and its possible context are discussed. The composition features a strong contre-jour effect towards sunset, perhaps informed by the shading of the pier and cliffs in the present sketch. See also Tate D17760–D17761 (Turner Bequest CCIII C, D), respectively a watercolour study and pencil outline from similar angles.
This is among numerous sketches showing aspects of the harbour. For Turner’s other Folkestone views in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under the view in the same direction from within the harbour on folio 8 recto (D18855).

Matthew Imms
September 2020

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p,651.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.403 no.884, as ‘A view of Folkestone, with beached fishing-boat’, ?c.1830, reproduced.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Folkestone Harbour from the Beach, with St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church in the Distance 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-folkestone-harbour-from-the-beach-with-st-mary-and-st-r1202213, accessed 26 May 2024.