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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sailing Boats in Swanage Bay 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
Sailing Boats in Swanage Bay 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIV 13
Pencil on white wove paper, 170 x 209 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXIV – 13’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The boats are seen against Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks in the distance to the north-east across Swanage Bay, from the harbour at Swanage at about the point where the entrance to the Victorian pier is now, east of the original stone pier and in line with Turner’s view from the hill above the bay on folio 12 recto (D08819). There are also a more distant view of the bay and Ballard Down on folio 11 recto (D08818), and views of the harbour shoreline on folio 14 recto (D08821) and of the harbour and town on 15 verso (D08822).
William Daniell’s 1823 aquatint of Swanage from his Voyage Round Great Britain shows the bay from a similar angle, with the foreshore towards Peveril Point, but gives no sense of the considerable distance to Ballard Down (about two miles), creating an oddly fjord-like effect (Tate impression: T02980).
Technical notes:
There is a prominent vertical crease running the whole height of the sheet towards the right.
Blank save for inscriptions by John Ruskin in red ink ‘644’ and (upside down) ‘36 | p.36’ bottom left.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Sailing Boats in Swanage Bay 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 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-sailing-boats-in-swanage-bay-r1137303, accessed 21 May 2022.