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18

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, R.A. | FIGURES ON A BEACH

PROPERTY FROM ANDREW CLAYTON-PAYNE, LONDON

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, R.A. | FIGURES ON A BEACH

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, R.A. | FIGURES ON A BEACH

PROPERTY FROM ANDREW CLAYTON-PAYNE, LONDON

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, R.A.

London 1775 - 1851

FIGURES ON A BEACH 


watercolour on buff-coloured paper 

unframed: 13.9 x 19 cm.; 5½ x 7½ in.

framed: 31.7 by 36.5 cm., 12 1/2 by 14 1/4 in.


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The watercolour has survived well and the colours retain their original vitality.

 

The sheet has darkened very slightly and the extreme edges (which have obviously been protected from the light by a previous mount) are a little but lighter in tone. These colour changes are extremely minor.

There are one or two very minor spots and foxmarks, but overall the condition is very good.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Mrs Sophia Booth (1798-1875), the artist’s landlady;

John Pound, her son;

Lawrence W. Hodson, Compton Hall by 1884;

Thence by descent until 1978;

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 30 November 1978, lot 97;

With Richard Feigen & Co., New York;

Private Collection, UK.

Tokyo, Mitsukoshi, Turner Watercolours and Drawings, 1979, no. 11;

West Palm Beach, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Paintings and Drawings by English and French Masters of the 18th and 19th Centuries, 1997.

"Turner possessed an unquenchable desire to record the world around him and his sketchbooks (the vast majority of which are held at Tate, Britain) are bursting at the seams with evidence of a long life of looking and travel.

Created with great spontaneity, the present sheet also demonstrates Turner’s wonderful sense of colour and form.


While a man - probably one of Margate’s fisherman - leans against a low wall or barrel with ruddy face and hunched back, a woman seems to busy herself - perhaps sorting fish or untangling netting - to his right.


Painted for himself, simply because the scene caught his eye, it would seem to me that works such as this allow the modern viewer to peer directly into the mind of one of Britain greatest artists."


Mark Griffith-Jones


Throughout his life, Turner painted a number of watercolours depicting figures on beaches. It was a subject that intrigued him and many were painted on the beaches in and around Margate where he stayed with his landlady Sophia Booth. This watercolour, along with many other works by Turner, was in her possession at the time of her death. The present watercolour has been dated by Ian Warrell to the late 1830s or early 1840s. At this stage in his career, Turner was interested in capturing an ethereal impression of what he saw recording it with great rapidity. Another similar watercolour from the same sketchbook but with more figures is in a private collection (Fig.1).


This sheet comes from a volume of forty-six watercolours, chalk drawings and pencil sketches by Turner which included other studies of beach and shipping scenes, views of Switzerland and Germany, and sketches of various buildings. 


On the flyleaf of the album, Laurence W. Hodson, one of its previous owners, inscribed the following "these sketches taken out of two original sketch-books of J.M.W.Turner and mounted by my directions July 1844. The books came to me direct with some other property of Turner’s. Most of these sketches are written in Turner’s hand-writing –well-known. 46 sketches in all."


We are grateful to Ian Warrell for dating this watercolour to the late 1830s or early 1840s.