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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Small Boats in Breakers, with Calais Beyond c.1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 37 Recto:
Small Boats in Breakers, with Calais Beyond c.1802
Turner Bequest LXXXI 71
Black and white chalks on blue laid paper, 271 x 436 mm
Watermarks ‘1794’ and ‘VI’
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘Do’ top centre, upside down
Stamped in black ‘LXXXI–71’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study was made with the page turned horizontally. The note ‘Do’ (for ‘Ditto’), refers to folio 36 verso opposite (D04972; Turner Bequest LXXXI 70), with its inscription ‘Our Situation at Calais Bar’, which in its turn refers to the drawing inscribed ‘Our landing at Calais nearly swampt’ on folios 30 verso–31 recto (D04960–D04961; Turner Bequest LXXXI 58–59).
Further drawings in the sequence are that inscribed ‘My landing at Calais’ on folios 38 verso–39 recto (D04976–D04977; Turner Bequest LXXXI 74–75), and that on the following spread, folios 39 verso–40 recto (D04978–D04979; Turner Bequest LXXXI 76–77), which is in turn marked ‘Do’. Whereas the study opposite (D04972) shows a small boat on its own, this one (like the two latter) introduces a larger vessel nearby, bringing the subject matter closer to that of Calais Pier, with French Poissards Preparing for Sea: An English Packet Arriving (National Gallery, London),1 the important painting that Turner sent to the Royal Academy exhibition in 1803.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.37–8 no.48, pl.58 (colour).

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Small Boats in Breakers, with Calais Beyond c.1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-small-boats-in-breakers-with-calais-beyond-r1178177, accessed 26 October 2021.