Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Buildings by a River, with a Ruined Church on the Bank and a Castle Above

1798

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 x 125 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01745
Turner Bequest XLII 70

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing is continued on folio 36 recto opposite (D01746; Turner Bequest XLI 71). It has been suggested that this opening comprises two drawings, one above the other, but the scene seems to be integral, with the Gothic church or chapel recorded on folios 34 verso–35 recto (D01743–D01744; Turner Bequest XLI 68–69) seen below a bank crowned by the round tower of a castle. However, the detail in the top left corner of the other page may constitute a separate study.
Finberg’s suggestion that the ‘O’ inscribed under the subject on this page refers to Ogmore,1 south of Bridgend, Glamorgan, is not supported by the topography of that place. A slightly more plausible conjecture is that this is Oystermouth, in the Gower peninsular, which Turner is not known to have visited. The elaborate tracery of the window that figures in the foreground of the view on D01743–D01744 can just be seen behind the pepperpot turret here. Other views of the same site are on folios 36 verso–37 recto and 37 verso–38 recto (D01747–D01750; Turner Bequest XLI 72–73, 74–75).

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.104.

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