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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Sunrise: Whiting Fishing at Margate ?1822

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?Sunrise: Whiting Fishing at Margate ?1822
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 374
Watercolour on white wove paper, 490 x 694 mm
Watermark ‘J Whatman | Turkey Mills | 1822’
Inscribed in pencil ‘cclxiii.374’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 374’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This elemental colour study of boats at sea against a brilliant dawn sky has been tentatively linked by Eric Shanes1 to the 1822 watercolour Sun-rise. Whiting Fishing at Margate (private collection),2 engraved in 1825 as ‘Plate 2’ of what turned out to only two Marine Views (Tate impression: T06655). It may well be a preliminary idea for the basic layout and serene atmosphere of that scene, with boats clustered in the sea off the Kent town (depicted away to the south-east on the right), and shares large scale, strong colouring and an 1822 Whatman watermark with sheets more clearly connected with other projected designs for the series, particularly those for A Storm (Shipwreck) (see the Introduction to this section).
Compare Tate D25507 (CCLXIII 383) in the present section, and Tate D25166 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 44), listed in this catalogue’s ‘England and Wales Colour Studies c.1825–39’ section as a possible alternative composition for the later Picturesque Views in England and Wales. Other watercolours of Margate are discussed under the latter sheet, and for Margate’s general significance to the artist, see the present author’s introduction to the Marine Dabblers sketchbook of about 1829–30 (Tate; Turner Bequest CCXLI) in the ‘Margate, Croydon and London’ section.
See Shanes 1997, p.99.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.507, as ‘Margate from the sea: whiting fishing’, untraced.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘cclxiii 374’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
July 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?Sunrise: Whiting Fishing at Margate ?1822 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, February 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-sunrise-whiting-fishing-at-margate-r1184427, accessed 21 May 2024.