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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Herm Island; Boats at Harbour; A Lighthouse ?1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 48 Recto:
Herm Island; Boats at Harbour; A Lighthouse ?1832
Turner Bequest CCLII 48
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 187 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Herm’ centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘48’ top left, inverted
Stamped in black ‘CCLII – 48’ top left, inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the drawings on this page depict distant coastal land-masses and descriptions of harbour infrastructure. The dense cluster of sketchy marks in the bottom left-hand quadrant depicts sail-boats and smaller vessels closely packed into a dock area. Jagged lines and jabbed vertical lines to the right of this scene may depict a small crowd of people. The lighthouse on a jetty in the bottom right-hand quadrant, which continues over onto folio 47 verso opposite (D23608; Turner Bequest CCLII 47a), appear to form a continuous view with the distant boats in the centre of the page and the line of islands on the horizon. One of these land-masses is identified as Herm Island in the English Channel within view of St Peter Port, Guernsey, thus providing a potential location for the various other scenes on the page.

John Chu
April 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Herm Island; Boats at Harbour; A Lighthouse ?1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-herm-island-boats-at-harbour-a-lighthouse-r1175101, accessed 22 September 2021.