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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Stooping Fisherwomen on a Beach c.1826-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?Stooping Fisherwomen on a Beach c.1826–40
Chalk on blue wove paper, 138 x 189 mm
Inscribed in pencil ‘54– 68’ bottom right, upside down
Inscribed in red ink ‘[...]’ top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This very slight study appears to show women stooping in postures similar to those seen in the painting Calais Sands, Low Water, Poissards Collecting Bait, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1830 (Bury Art Museum).1 Compare a clearer drawing, Tate D24938 (Turner Bequest CCLX 102), and more developed gouaches (D24779, D24880; CCLIX 214, CCLX 44), the second of which shows Calais in the background. See also the small sketch of women in similar postures among Calais harbour views in the 1824 Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D19997; Turner Bequest CCXVI 227a).2
Turner had toured Normandy and Brittany in 1829, not long before the painting was shown, so there may be a connection, but as the activity could have been observed on other occasions a generic date has been applied here. There is another beach scene on the recto (D24627; Turner Bequest CCLIX 62).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984,pp.187–8 no.334, pl.336 (colour)
See ibid., p.188, and Ann Chumbley and Ian Warrell, Turner and the Human Figure: Studies of Contemporary Life, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1989, p.43.
Technical notes:
Slight, scattered traces of blue pigment do not appear to relate to the drawing, and may be offset from another sheet. The illegible red inscription at the top left may also be an offset.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?Stooping Fisherwomen on a Beach c.1826–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 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-stooping-fisherwomen-on-a-beach-r1182569, accessed 24 April 2024.