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Past Exhibition

Stangate Creek, on the River Medway

watercolor depicting ships with open sails on river, and sun sitting in sky

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

See related engraving

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.