Dover Castle from the Sea

watercolor displaying boats on tumultuous sea, with castle at center of tall rolling hills

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Dover Castle from the Sea, 1822
For Marine Views
Watercolor and gouache on paper
15 15/16 x 23 5/8 in. (40.5 x 60 cm)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife, Clara Bertram Kimball
© 2017 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Recognizable by its white cliffs, Dover was the primary departure port for the ferry from England to France. While fishing boats and brigs struggle against strong wind and choppy current, a steamboat spewing a smoky trail pulls into the port’s dock. The juxtaposition of various modes of transportation reflects Turner’s fascination with the changes brought about by industrialization.

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