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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Portsmouth Harbour and the Isle of Wight from Portsdown Hill 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 31 Verso:
Portsmouth Harbour and the Isle of Wight from Portsdown Hill 1827
Turner Bequest CCXXVII 29
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 185 mm
Partial watermark ‘nsell | 17’
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page of coastal views is difficult to decipher fully, but appears to show aspects of the view south from on or near the London Road over the crest of the chalk escarpment of Portsdown Hill, over Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, south-west to the Isle of Wight. The hulls and masts of distant shipping are carefully noted.
There are at least two drawings here, in bands along the top and bottom, possibly with a third study of the undulations of the hill between. The squarish building at the bottom centre seems to be shown again on folio 38 recto (D20789; Turner Bequest CCXXVII 36), in a single vista from a similar viewpoint. For various views of Portsmouth scattered through this sketchbook, see under folio 10 recto (D20768).
Technical notes:
As discussed in the sketchbook’s introduction, this leaf’s blank recto does not have a Tate ‘D’ accession number. It was prepared with a grey wash, and is inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ and stamped in black ‘CCXXVII – 29’ at the bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Portsmouth Harbour and the Isle of Wight from Portsdown Hill 1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-portsmouth-harbour-and-the-isle-of-wight-from-portsdown-hill-r1182640, accessed 21 January 2022.