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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views of Sandgate, with the Castle and Episcopal Chapel c.1821-2

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 47 Recto:
Views of Sandgate, with the Castle and Episcopal Chapel c.1821–2
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 47
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 187 mm
Partial watermark ‘monds | 19’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘47’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXCVIII – 47’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawings on this page describe various views of Sandgate.1 In the top left corner of the sheet, Turner briefly outlines Martello tower number four, which is stationed on top of the cliffs overlooking the castle and shoreline. This prospect is repeated in a directly adjacent emulation, this time elaborated and extended to include a detailed observation of both the cliff face as it recedes towards Folkestone, and the town nestled into the landscape closer to sea level. This expansive drawing pays particular attention to Sandgate Castle on the far right. For further studies of this landmark in the present sketchbook, see the entry for folio 16 verso (D17233). For a list of drawings in this sketchbook which include Martello towers, see the entry for folio 5 verso (D17215).
The view also clearly includes the Episcopal Chapel at Sandgate. An ostentatiously neo-classical form, it stands out clearly from the surrounding dwellings, towards the centre of the drawing. Consecrated in May 1822, the presence of this building seems to confirm that this sketchbook was still in use during that year. For more information about the history of the structure, now destroyed, see the entry for folio 16 verso (D17233). For a comprehensive list of its appearances, see the sketchbook Introduction.
Lower down the page, spread along the bottom edge beneath an overspill of lines on the left from a sketch on the facing page, folio 46 verso (D17284), is another view of Sandgate. Three boats on the shore can be identified on the far right by their masts. Individual buildings are treated quickly but with precision, and Turner conveys the sense that this is a densely occupied sliver of land walled in by rough coastal topography. He appears to observe this scene from a high viewpoint on the lip of another cliff, which is indicated with gestural lines across the very bottom of the page.

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.605.

How to cite

Maud Whatley, ‘Views of Sandgate, with the Castle and Episcopal Chapel c.1821–2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 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-views-of-sandgate-with-the-castle-and-episcopal-chapel-r1184559, accessed 14 April 2021.