Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Ruined Church above Traeth Bach


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 170 x 266 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXIX 20

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint appears to be on the hills above Traeth Bach, on the road to Maentwrog, leading to Aberglaslyn and Beddgelert. The large structure on the extreme left is probably Harlech Castle, and the conical hill of Moel y Gest is seen over the foreground ruin, above Traeth Mawr (now drained with the town of Portmadog built on it; see under Tate D10247 in the contemporary Hereford Court sketchbook; Turner Bequest XXXVIII). The Lleyn Peninsular is visible in the far distance.
The site has alternatively been identified as Llandanw, south of Harlech; but this is inconsistent with the disposition of the principal elements in the drawing. For another drawing identified as showing Llandanw, see the 1799 Lancashire and North Wales sketchbook (Tate D01939; Turner Bequest XLV 20a).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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