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The Morning after the Wreck

Photo credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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Beginning in the 1830s, Turner was a regular visitor to the seaside town of Margate in Kent, on the southern coast of England, where he made numerous depictions of the view outside the window of his lodgings, the scene on which this painting is most probably based. It is highly unlikely that 'The Morning after the Wreck' depicts an actual event, being more 'an amalgam of Turner’s lifetime’s experience of seashore activity.' We see a foreshore view of the beach at Margate, on which indistinct figures huddle together, picking over the debris that litters the sand. Turner’s watercolour-like treatment of oil paint is particularly evident here, in the fading suggestion of a harbour wall to the far left of the canvas and in the shadowy form of the central ship, which perhaps, like that in 'The Fighting Temeraire', signals the end of an era.

National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff




oil on canvas


H 38.7 x W 61.8 cm

Accession number

NMW A 436

Acquisition method

bequeathed by Gwendoline Davies, 1951

Work type



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National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff (Caerdydd) CF10 3NP Wales

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