Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Stangate Creek, on the River Medway, ca. 1823–24
For The Rivers of England
Watercolor on paper
6 3/8 x 9 7/16 in. (16.2 x 24 cm)
Tate; Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
©Tate, London 2016
In this glowing watercolor of Stangate Creek, within the Medway estuary, Turner balances the open area on the left with a cluster of boats in the foreground on the right. The dark silhouettes of floating hulks or decommissioned men-of-war converted into inspection stations for cargo on incoming trade ships add a note of mystery. According to an inscription on an engraver’s proof, Turner instructed the engraver Thomas Lupton to replace the logs in the foreground with a buoy.