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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Lighthouses and Piers in Sunderland Harbour 1817

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
The Lighthouses and Piers in Sunderland Harbour 1817
Turner Bequest CLVII 2
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 185 mm
Part watermark ‘J Wh | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘2’ bottom right (now very faint)
Stamped in black ‘CLVII – 2’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This slight sketch shows the north and south piers and lighthouses flanking the entrance to Sunderland Harbour, looking east out to sea along the south pier. A painting by Thomas Miles Richardson, Senior (1784–1848), shows the same view including the mast at the centre of Turner’s sketch (Sunderland Museum), while William Daniell’s 1822 aquatint of the scene for his Voyage Round Great Britain shows the two piers and lighthouses from a similar viewpoint (Tate impression: T02930). Only the stump of the southern pier survives, and there has been extensive rebuilding around the harbour.
The mast appears to be the same one seen in the view from the other direction on folio 1 recto (D12318), the first of a sequence of Sunderland views running on to folio 5 recto (D12324).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Lighthouses and Piers in Sunderland Harbour 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-the-lighthouses-and-piers-in-sunderland-harbour-r1139316, accessed 17 January 2021.