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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Women and Girls, Perhaps by the Sea c.1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
Women and Girls, Perhaps by the Sea c.1825
Turner Bequest CCXII 2
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 114 x 188 mm
Part watermark ‘Al | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘2’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXII – 2’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In August 1825 Turner was abroad in the Low Countries, and it is possible that some of the women and girls here, in somewhat exotic bonnets, were observed there, although drawings on nearby pages show the familiar scene from the top of Richmond Hill (see the Introduction). Despite Finberg’s characterisation of the drawing as ‘on the seashore’,1 there is no indication of the setting except a slight vertical which might suggest the mast of a sailing boat such as those apparently shown on folio 1 recto (D18595).
The scene is animated by the presence of a lightly worked, pale blue watercolour sky, although it is unclear whether this or the figures came first. From folio 9 recto (D18609) onwards there is a lengthy sequence of sky and landscape studies in watercolour alone.
Finberg 1909, II, p.646.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Women and Girls, Perhaps by the Sea c.1825 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, 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-women-and-girls-perhaps-by-the-sea-r1172714, accessed 22 May 2024.