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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Hythe from the Ashford Road, above the Royal Military Canal c.1816-18

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 20 Recto:
Hythe from the Ashford Road, above the Royal Military Canal circa 1816–18
Turner Bequest CXXXIX 20
Pencil on white wove paper, 129 x 205 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘water’ within image, lower right
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘20’ bottom left, inverted and ‘315’ top left, inverted
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘CXXXIX 20’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, and continued on folio 19 verso (D10365), for which see catalogue note for the subject and its probable origin in a smaller sketch in the Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10497; Turner Bequest CXL 45a). This half of the double-spread contains the main elements of Turner’s view as seen from the Ashford road. In the middle distance are the barracks of the Royal Staff Corps, built for the Royal Wagon Train that serviced the Royal Military Canal, seen to the right of the buildings and marked with Turner’s annotation ‘water’. St Leonard’s Church is in the left distance.
In the watercolour made from this drawing (Guildhall Art Gallery, London)1 and engraved by George Cooke in 1824 for Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England, Turner added soldiers on the march with a wagon train, a parade outside the barracks and a cannon as a recollection of the strategic importance of the Kent coast during the Napoleonic Wars.

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

Wilton 1979, p.354 no.475.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Hythe from the Ashford Road, above the Royal Military Canal c.1816–18 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-hythe-from-the-ashford-road-above-the-royal-military-canal-r1131594, accessed 24 May 2022.