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Beachy Head Looking towards Newhaven About 1794 - 1797

Not on display

The towering white cliffs dominate the beach at the right. The men in the rowing boat provide human interest and scale. Man's insignificance in the presence of imposing natural structures was a central theme of the Romantic movement in the arts. The dark foreground rocks emphasise the brightness of the chalk faces and this pattern of dark and light is echoed around the sweeping coastline where sky and sea eventually meet. This drawing relates to others the young Turner made while attending Dr Monro's evening 'Academy' in the 1790s.

Glossary Open

Dr Monro's Evening Academy

Thomas Monro was a doctor, painter and art collector whose patients in the late 18th century included the watercolourist John Robert Cozens. Some of Cozens' sketches were acquired by Monro, who used them as the basis for classes at his house. J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Girtin attended Monro's ‘academy’ where they were instructed by copying Cozens' work.


A movement in art, literature and music in the 18th and 19th centuries that rejected neoclassical restraint in favour of emotion and individual expression.

Dr Monro's Evening Academy, Romanticism


  • Acc. No. D NG 855
  • Medium Blue and grey washes over pencil on paper
  • Size 20.30 x 27.50 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900