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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Men-of-War Entering Portsmouth Harbour 1807

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Recto:
Men-of-War Entering Portsmouth Harbour 1807
Turner Bequest C 3
Pen and ink on off-white wove paper, 118 x 187 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘3’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘C 3’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg compared this to Turner’s ‘Picture of “Danish ships entering Portsmouth Harbour” in Turner’s studio, May, 1808’, by which he meant Spithead: Boat’s Crew Recovering an Anchor (Tate N00481),1 for which see the Introduction to the sketchbook. In fact there seems no particularly close connection beyond Turner’s general observation of Danish ships that had been seized at Copenhagen; see Introduction to the sketchbook for the historical background. The stern of the larger ship at centre, with a standard flying at her mizzen gaff, seems also to be the subject of a detail on folio 3 (D06519; Turner Bequest C 2).

David Blayney Brown
May 2006

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.60–1 no.80 (pl.90).

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Men-of-War Entering Portsmouth Harbour 1807 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2006, 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-men-of-war-entering-portsmouth-harbour-r1139040, accessed 13 June 2024.