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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunderland Harbour from the South Pier 1817

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Sunderland Harbour from the South Pier 1817
Turner Bequest CLVII 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 185 mm
Part watermark ‘J Wh | 1’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right (now faint)
Stamped in black ‘CLVII – 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The view is westwards in the direction of Monkwearmouth, looking inland along the pier on the south side of Sunderland Harbour, from which a ship is setting sail. The mast on the pier to its right appears to be the one seen again in the view in the opposite direction on folio 2 recto (D12319). Only the stump of this southern pier survives, as there has been extensive rebuilding around the harbour.
This is the first of a sequence of Sunderland views, running on to folio 5 recto (D12324). There is also a very slight sketch inside the back cover (D40923) which appears to show a cliff, and may have been made on the coast nearby. It is possible, as discussed in the introduction to the tour, that Turner had arrived by sea.
Technical notes:
The centre of the right-hand edge has been rubbed and pulled back by contact with the plate anchoring the brass clasp inside the front cover of the sketchbook opposite (D40918).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Sunderland Harbour from the South Pier 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2010, 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-sunderland-harbour-from-the-south-pier-r1139315, accessed 28 November 2020.