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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Shipping in the Pool of London and Probably down the River Thames; the Sun over the Sea c.1831-45

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Shipping in the Pool of London and Probably down the River Thames; the Sun over the Sea c.1831–45
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 190
Pencil on white laid paper, 172 x 155 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘190’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLIV 190’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are five bands of sketches down this sheet. The top two show shipping on the River Thames in the Pool of London, with the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in the distance to the north-west. The scene was very familiar to Turner, and such rapid drawings of the locality often occur for example in the sketchbooks catalogued here in the ‘Thames, London and South of England 1821–7’ section; see also the Marine Dabblers sketchbook in the present Margate-related sketchbook (Tate D22526–D22528; Turner Bequest CCXLI 55, 55a, 56).
The artist perhaps made the present sketches on a steamer trip from London to Margate, as the sketches further down the sheet suggest boats sailing in less constricted waters lower down the Thames Estuary. One drawing is indistinctly inscribed ‘[?M... H...]’. The study of a boat under sail at the bottom left was made with the sheet turned ninety degrees; the word below the stern is difficult to make out, but may be ‘yellow’. At the bottom left is a typical study of the sun low over the sea, presumably observed in the course of the voyage.
In physical respects (see the technical notes below) and subject matter, this drawing is closely related to a number of others in this subsection and elsewhere, as discussed under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a).
Technical notes:
Tate D34582–D34585 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 190, 190v, 191, 191v) are all on a single sheet, folded vertically (the horizontal dimensions given above being for the whole sheet with notches at the head and foot of the fold. The present work is to the right of D34585 on one side, with D34583 and D34584 respectively on their other sides. The partial watermark ‘mlett’ on other sheets in the sequence discussed under Tate D23337 likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1

Matthew Imms
August 2016

See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016, http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/devon-paper-trades-exeter.html.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Shipping in the Pool of London and Probably down the River Thames; the Sun over the Sea c.1831–45 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-shipping-in-the-pool-of-london-and-probably-down-the-river-r1183902, accessed 18 October 2021.