Devonport and Dockyard, Devonshire

watercolor displaying small boats filled with men and women at dockyard, with full sky in view

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Devonport and Dockyard, Devonshire, ca. 1825–29
For Picturesque Views in England and Wales
Watercolor and gouache, and scratching out on cream wove paper
11 3/4 x 17 5/16 in. (29.8 x 44 cm)
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum; Gift of Charles Fairfax Murray in honor of W.J. Stillman
Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College

This vista of the naval dockyard of Devonshire, on the southwestern coast of England, includes tent-shaped buildings that were used for the construction of men-of-war. Set in the period following the Napoleonic Wars, ships are being discharged and soldiers relieved from service. The brilliant golden light pushing away the dark storm clouds has been interpreted as an allegory of the coming peace.

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