Margate (?), from the Sea

The title is not Turner's own, but Turner knew the coast around Margate in Kent well and often painted it. In his views of Margate, its white cliffs are often prominent, and the suggestion of distant white cliffs here makes the identification of the scene as Margate likely, though not certain.

Turner's main purpose was not to depict a specific place but to explore the nature of the sea under a changing sky. The painting is unfinished.

Key facts

Artist dates
1775 - 1851
Full title
Margate (?), from the Sea
Date made
about 1835-40
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
91.2 x 122.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Turner Bequest, 1856
Inventory number
Location in Gallery