Off Dover

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1820 - 1827 probably

LL 3781

About this object

Art historians have questioned whether this watercolour is really a view of Dover. The work was probably made for an uncompleted project on the English Channel, intended to illustrate both the French and English coastlines. This may in fact be an unknown French subject rather than Dover.

Turner had almost stopped making studies for his watercolours by 1820. He preferred to begin and complete a work in several hours on the spot. This may be an early example of his new way of working as there are no known sketches for 'Off Dover'.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:1775-05-23 probably, died:1851-12-19)
  • Date
    1820 - 1827 probably
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Gum arabic; Wove paper; Scratching out
  • Measurements
    paper: 17.7 cm x 27.8 cm
  • Physical description
    A view off the coast, with wreckage in the foreground. The sea is stormy. A boat on the centre line of the scene is being tossed to the right. Cliffs with buildings on top are in the background. The stormy sky is evoked by diagonal brushstrokes.
  • Related people
    William Hesketh Lever (Previous owner) ; Pawsey and Payne (Previous owner) ; Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    Out of Use Accession Number: WHL 3781
  • Credit line
    Purchased by William Hesketh Lever in 1923
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections

Explore related


  • British Watercolours and Drawings: Lord Leverhulme's Collection in the Lady Lever Art Gallery

    Jessica Feather

    Author: Jessica Feather
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press & National Museums Liverpool
    Date: 2010
    Description: Lord Leverhulme's Collection catalogue of Watercolours and Drawings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery


Previous owners

  • William Hesketh Lever

    Owned from: 1923
    How acquired: Purchased from Christie's on 22 June 1923, Lot 24 by Gooden and Fox for Lever
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Pawsey and Payne

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1923-06-22
    Disposal method: Sold at Christie's on 22 June 1923, Lot 24
Object view = Fine Art
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