Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Rocky Bay in Cornwall or North Devon

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 139 x 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41362
Turner Bequest CXXV a 80

Catalogue entry

The half-sketched building on the right lends scale to this small cove or bay, currently unidentified but consistent with the rugged geology of various Cornish and North Devon sites Turner recorded elsewhere in this sketchbook.
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject as ‘Rocks on coast’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it similarly in his own notes as ‘Rock-bound bay’.2 Figures differing from Bell’s sequence are inscribed on the verso of most sheets; they usually correspond with the pagination given in Finberg’s MS catalogue, but here and in a few other cases the numbers do not match, so a tentative connection has been made on the basis of Finberg’s descriptive title.
1
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 72.
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356C, as CXXVa 80.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘103’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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