Test your connoisseurship
September 19 2012
Picture: National Museum of Wales/PCF
Is this by Turner? Or merely painted in 'the style of Turner', as catalogued on the Your Paintings website? Find out the answer on Sunday night, BBC1, 7pm in the next episode of 'Fake or Fortune?'. If you feel brave enough to commit now, email me your attribution.
Update - a reader writes:
...we reckon it's right - every part of it 'makes sense', there's a proper sense of depth throughout and the splodges in the foreground - people? - give a proper repoussoir. [...]
Shrewd souls also say it wouldn't be on telly if it wasn't right.
It's one of three pictures we're examining this Sunday. So don't assume it's right just because it's going to be on the telly!
Another reader writes:
I dont like the Turner. I think the composition is off and I dont find the colours very turner like either.
I am excited to see what you find out.
In my opinion, the almost Degas-like (or Japanese print-like) composition of the painting makes it impossible to be e real Turner. As far as I know, Turner remained heavily indebted to the way his own master, Claude Lorrain, divided the picture into separete depth planes (leading the eye from the shadowy foreground to the sunny background).
Most people are against - here's another reader:
I am going to say that no, it's not a Turner. I think it lacks a dynamic element, and the figures, the pier and boats seem a bit weak. From the photo it doesn't have the bright or bold colours of later works, nor detailed figures that feature in other Margate or harbour scenes. It seems a little constrained by the portrait composition. There's a lot of land featured in this painting- but not much going on there.
More colours nailed to the mast here:
I don't think tonight's Turner is a Turner! It isn't bouncing out of my laptop into my kitchen, as other Turner's do when I google them. Something about the light not being right, nor the colours. Just doesn't feel good, as if awaiting more on study, but nothing appearing. Mind you the light may have been looking unusually flat off Margate on the day 'Turner' painted the picture, and so you have an exceptional Turner to study! I am used to the light off the Cornish coast - very different to Thanet, nowadays, anyway, so I wouldn't put money on my instinct in this case, but we await 7pm with baited breath ...