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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Margate: Jarvis's Landing Place, with Heavy Cloud and a Distant Sail c.1844

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?Margate: Jarvis’s Landing Place, with Heavy Cloud and a Distant Sail c.1844
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 427
Pencil and chalk on buff wove paper, 141 x 190 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘yellow [?sea] N[...]’ centre left, ‘Rysdael’ towards bottom right, and ‘[?Glow]’ towards bottom left
Inscribed in red ink ‘427’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLI.427’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The main view appears to be a loose depiction of a steamer at the end of Jarvis’s Landing Place, looking north from the Great Beach at Margate. Beneath billowing clouds, a single sail is picked out in white chalk, caught in sunlight towards the horizon. There is a smaller cloud study at the bottom left, framed by pencil lines. The incident in the main drawing presumably prompted Turner to write ‘Rysdael’ below, perhaps recalling the similar effect of a bright sail in the painting Port Ruysdael, exhibited in 1827 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven), but not sold until March 1844;1 its title being an invented place name in homage to the seventeenth-century Dutch sea painter Jacob van Ruisdael.2
Secondary to another likely Margate view, a small sketch on the verso of the present sheet (Tate D34161; Turner Bequest CCCXLI 427v) appears associable with events in February 1844, when Turner also happened to be in correspondence about Fishing Boats Bringing a Disabled Ship into Port Ruysdael, a painting seemingly then in progress and exhibited in the course of that year (Tate N00536).3 There, the sails are dark against an overcast sky, although there is still a burst of light illuminating the waves near the centre.
Fred Bachrach has suggested the present work is ‘a faint sketch of a [Ruisdael] landscape at Dresden in 1836 [sic]’4 without further comment, but the reference is unclear; along with other Old Master works, Turner had drawn Ruisdael’s woodland Hunt in the Dresden Picture Gallery on his 1835 tour, in the Copenhagen to Dresden sketchbook (Tate D31030; Turner Bequest CCCVII 6).
For more on the likely Margate setting, see the Introduction to this subsection.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.146–7 no.237, pl.242
See Bachrach 2001, pp.273–4.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.256 no.408, pl.413.
Bachrach 2001, p.274.
Technical notes:
Turner’s use of this sheet of buff paper is unusual among the Margate views grouped here, although several others are on blue paper. Compare one other sheet of similar size and colour (Tate D29014; Turner Bequest CCXCII 63).

Matthew Imms
August 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?Margate: Jarvis’s Landing Place, with Heavy Cloud and a Distant Sail c.1844 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-margate-jarviss-landing-place-with-heavy-cloud-and-a-distant-r1183890, accessed 21 October 2021.