All of the views of Dover sold at Monro’s posthumous sale in 1833 were attributed to Turner alone, and, prior to the publication of Andrew Wilton’s pioneering article in 1984, few of the Monro School subjects were described as being the joint productions of Girtin and Turner, this despite the artists’ own description of their practice at the patron’s house as related to Farington in 1798 (Wilton, 1984a, pp.8–23). This watercolour is currently known only from a poor-quality image. At this distance all that can be said with any confidence is that there is nothing to suggest that it is anything other than a typical collaborative effort between the two artists, despite the fact that it was attributed to Turner alone when it last appeared on the art market in 1998).
A similar view of the castle, with the jetty and shipping in the foreground, is in the collection of the British Museum (see figure 2). The work has been attributed to Turner in the past, but it appears to be a copy by Henderson of a Turner watercolour (sold at Sotheby’s, 15 March 1984, lot 53), which, in turn, was created from a sketch he made on his trip to Dover in 1793 (Tate Britain, Turner Bequest (XVI A)). The museum currently describes the watercolour as ‘now generally held to be the work of John Henderson’ (British Museum, Collection, 1878,1228.45).
1795 - 1796
Dover Harbour: Small Boats by the Quay
1795 - 1796
Shipping in Dover Harbour, with the Castle Beyond