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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views along the Cliffs near Folkestone; the Martello Towers above Copt Point, with the Town Beyond 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Recto:
Views along the Cliffs near Folkestone; the Martello Towers above Copt Point, with the Town Beyond 1825
D18853
Turner Bequest CCXIV 7
Pencil on white wove paper, 95 x 155 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘7’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXIV – 7’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, these are the last in a short sequence of sketches showing aspects of the Channel cliffs near Dover (see under folio 2 recto; D18843), as Turner approached Folkestone, some seven miles to the west (see under folio 8 recto; D18855).
The slight sketch at the bottom, along the outer edge, shows the three Martello towers (officially nos.1, 2 and 3 of the Kent sequence) built during the Napoleonic Wars towards Copt Point, and aligned north to south at the end East Wear Bay.1 They are seen from below Dover Hill, around the vicinity of what is now Swiss Way, with the tower of St Mary and St Eanswythe’s Church overlooking the harbour to their west on the right; compare the more detailed variants on folios 6 recto and verso (D18851–D18852). There is a view from nearby in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook of about 1816–19 (Tate D10475–D10476; Turner Bequest CXL 34a–35).
The overlapping sketches above appear to be from the nearby beach, apparently showing Copt Point (now partly wooded) and profiles along the Kent coast towards the town and beyond, although subsequent erosion makes the viewpoints difficult to determine. The first of numerous views around Folkestone Harbour follows on the verso (D18854).

Matthew Imms
September 2020

1
See Peter Faulkner ed., ‘Martello Towers in Kent’, Martello Towers, accessed 27 February 2020, https://martellotowers.co.uk/kent.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Views along the Cliffs near Folkestone; the Martello Towers above Copt Point, with the Town Beyond 1825 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2020, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2023, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-views-along-the-cliffs-near-folkestone-the-martello-towers-r1202205, accessed 14 June 2024.