'Margate Harbour', Joseph Mallord William Turner

Margate harbour with people waiting harbour-side for a sailing ship

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George Holt’s sister Anne noted in the family diary in March 1872 that her brother had ‘purchased a nice small Turner at Mr. Leyland’s sale’. The work concerned was almost certainly this atmospheric late canvas, whose subject is probably emigrants embarking for new lives abroad.

Frederick Leyland of the Liverpool shipping firm Bibby’s, who lived at Speke Hall 1867-77, was a keen collector. A friend of Rossetti and Whistler, he periodically downsized his collection to finance further buying. Holt remained keenly interested in the collecting of local rivals throughout his life, and this purchase of a work he saw at Leyland’s was typical. 

Artwork Details

Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Date: about 1845
Accession No: WAG 312