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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of the Sea, ?near Boulogne 1845

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Back Cover:
View of the Sea, ?near Boulogne 1845
Turner Bequest CCCLVIII 24
Gouache and watercolour on paper, 230 x 326 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘24’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCLVIII 24’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Perhaps taking advantage of the extra thickness provided by the paper of the sketchbook’s inside cover, Turner has here worked long strokes of intense pigment onto an especially water-saturated surface to create a panoramic sea view. Pale green washes in the lower half of the sheet suggest shallow waters over sand, grading vertically to the deep blue of the sea. A wedge of scratchy blue strokes to the right may represent a reef of rocks stretching out onto the sands, or possibly a pier. In the sky, long dry diagonal strokes of blue dragged from left to right are succeeded by a row of fat round dabs of the brush to imply troubled skies.

John Chu
November 2013

How to cite

John Chu, ‘View of the Sea, ?near Boulogne 1845 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-view-of-the-sea-near-boulogne-r1173530, accessed 19 September 2021.