A Portrait of the Artist: J.M.W. Turner in East Anglia
with Dr Richard Hoggett (Heritage Consultant)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 25th March, 2017

This study-day examines a series of watercolours Joseph Mallord William Turner made of sites along the East Anglian coast in the 1820s, including views of Orford, Aldeburgh, Dunwich, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Happisburgh. These images capture East Anglia in Turner’s characteristic style and are part of the wider ‘topographic landscape’ movement, telling us a great deal about the beautiful landscape and wealth historic buildings which were (and in many cases still are) to be found along this outstanding stretch of coast.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:                Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:                The first session of the day introduces Turner as an artist and places his work into the context of the topographic landscape movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which saw the recording of historic sites and monuments and is allied to the emergence of antiquarianism. It also explores the 19th-century fashion for engravings, which were very popular among the emerging middle class and which provide a visual record of many of our most famous sites and landscapes.

11.15 – 11.40:                Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:                Turner was a prolific artist, producing over 80,000 works during his lifetime and filling hundreds of sketchbooks. This session leafs through Turner’s East Anglian sketchbooks, which allow us to reconstruct something of his visit to the region in the early 1820s and reveal much about his approach to capturing and recording the countryside through which he travelled.

12.40 – 14.00:                Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:                 This session examines in detail the first batch of East Anglian paintings which Turner produced, featuring views of Aldeburgh, Orford, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. These images formed part of the ‘Picturesque Views in England and Wales’ series and were published between 1827 and 1838. These coastal scenes include views of castles, churches, Martello towers and lighthouses, and capture perfectly the spirit of these busy coastal communities.

14.50 – 15.10:                Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:                The final session looks at the second batch of Turner’s East Anglian paintings, including views of Lowestoft, Happisburgh, Orford, Great Yarmouth, Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Orfordness. All of these images were produced as part of an ultimately unpublished ‘Picturesque Views on the East Coast of England’ series begun c. 1827. This rich body of work tells us a great deal about Turner’s views on the interaction between people and the natural environment, which are as topical today as they were in the early 19th century.

  1. 16.00: Thanks and Close

About Dr Richard Hoggett

Richard Hoggett is a freelance heritage consultant, writer, and lecturer, with over 20 years’ experience in the academic, commercial, and local authority heritage sectors. He is the author of The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion (2010), The Book of Happisburgh (2011) and from 2006–13 was the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Norfolk Archaeology. He is a confident and popular public speaker and has lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects for institutions and organisations throughout the eastern region. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Although best known as an Anglo-Saxon specialist, Richard has been captivated by the work of J.M.W. Turner from an early age and has continued to explore Turner’s depictions of the British landscape alongside his various day jobs. He is grateful for the opportunity to share his passion with a wider audience.


When asked ‘what was best?‘ at previous sessions from Rik respondents said:

  • Wuffing lectures spoil me for lectures held by other organisations!  Audibility and visual ability is not a problem at Wuffings, and questions are usually repeated so that the other students can hear the query.  Other organisations should take note
  • Rick is always brilliant in both knowledge and presentation.  Excellent.  Another great Day School!
  • All good!  This really was an exceptionally good day!
  • Well paced, good regular breaks between sessions
  • Ricks brilliant presentation
  • Wonderful speaker, warm and light-hearted but learned; perfect combination!  Over-running not a problem for me.
  • First time I had attended and event here, group made me feel very welcome.  Programme of the day well planned.
  • Delivery was excellent and coverage and range of presentation very enjoyable.  Thank You.
    Pleasant ambiance plus speaker with great delivery
  • All very good!  Great day as usual.

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Bailey, A. 1997. Standing in the Sun: A Life of J.M.W. Turner. Tate Publishing.

Brown, D.B. 2012. J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours. Tate Research Publications. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner

Herrmann, L. 1990. Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner. Phaidon.

Herrmann, L. 2004. ‘Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775–1851)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/27/101027854/ (needs a library card to access this resource)

Moyle, F. 2016. The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner. Viking.

Rawlinson, W.G. 1908. The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Volume I. MacMillian and Co. Ltd. https://archive.org/details/engravedworkofj01rawliala

Rawlinson, W.G. 1913. The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Volume 2. MacMillian and Co. Ltd. https://archive.org/details/gri_33125001464789