watercolor of shore scene with female in foreground and ships and city in distance

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Scarborough, ca.1825
For The Ports of England
Watercolor and graphite on paper
6 3/16 x 8 7/8 in. (15.7 x 22.5 cm)
Tate; Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
© Tate, London 2016

Of this view of Scarborough, the critic John Ruskin wrote, “nothing is so perfectly calm as Turner’s calmness; and I know very few better examples of this calmness than the place before us.” In the foreground, a woman glancing back at her dog draws us in. The presence of the twelfth-century Scarborough Castle places this fleeting moment within the context of time.

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