Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bigbury Bay and Bolt Tail from Burgh Island


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 95 x 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 169 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, this drawing is part of a sequence working in from the back cover of the sketchbook, which correlates with accounts of a voyage Turner and others made from Plymouth south-east to Burgh Island, returning by land towards Plymouth. The sequence begins on folio 275 (D09476; Turner Bequest CXXXI 186a), under which the overall trip is discussed, and may extend as far as folio 228 verso (Tate D09382; Turner Bequest CXXXI 139a).
The sketches between folios 260 verso and 253 verso (D09446 and D09432; CXXXI 171a, 164a) show Burgh Island, just off the coast at Bigbury-on-Sea, as discussed under D09446. Here Turner looks across Murray’s Rocks from the island, along the coast of the mainland from the cliffs below Thurlestone on the left to Bolt Tail in the distance on the right, about three miles away at the south-eastern end of Bigbury Bay.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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