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Joseph Mallord William Turner

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Joseph Mallord William Turner
(1775–1851)

Wreck on the Goodwin Sands: Sunset

Inscribed, in pencil, And [dolphins?] play around the wreck / The man's [hope?] holding all that hoped / admits [work? waste?] of the almighty's hand [feeling? failing?] fallacy Hope [illegible] far sail / Wreck on the Goodwins

Watercolor and traces of black chalk and pencil
9 1/16 x 13 1/16 inches (230 x 332 mm)

Bequest of Alice Tully

1996.67
Item description: 

This sheet is probably from one of Turner's sketchbooks, quite possibly from one of much the same size that he used in 1845. Both the extreme freedom with which the watercolor is applied and the color of the sky support the late dating of this work. The Goodwin Sands are off the Kentish coast opposite Deal and Walmer, and it is likely that Turner spent some time at Margate in 1845 before a short visit to France. Additional interest is provided by some lines in Turner's hand that must come from his manuscript poem "Fallacies of Hope."