Joseph Mallord William Turner

A West Country Watermill


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 141 x 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 51

Catalogue entry

This rapid and rather skewed drawing offers no topographical clues, but this overshot watermill was presumably observed in Cornwall or North Devon, the localities for most of the identified views in this sketchbook. It may possibly be one of the two mills shown on folio 52 recto (D41332), although neither appears identical in configuration to this. Both sketches have apparently been bound at this point in the book by association with the mill at Tintagel shown on folios 53 recto, 54 recto and 55 recto (D41333–D41335).
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 ‘Cottage (or Mill) on Cliff’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Building with water-wheel’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
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) 29.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B, as CXXVa 51.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘128 | 29’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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