Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bow and Arrow or Rufus Castle and Pennsylvania Castle, Portland

1811

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 170 x 209 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08838
Turner Bequest CXXIV 27

Catalogue entry

Finberg notes that this sketch and that on folio 26 recto (D08837) are the sources for the watercolour Bow and Arrow Castle, Isle of Portland of about 1815 (University of Liverpool),1 engraved in 1817 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England2 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). Pennsylvania Castle is still visible from the vantage point of the current sketch on level ground high above the small quarry in front of the ruins of Rufus Castle. The house was designed for John Penn (Governor of Portland Castle and grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania, USA)3 by James Wyatt, for whom Turner had occasionally worked in the 1790s; Turner included the modern ‘castle’ in the background of his watercolour, which is otherwise based on the lower viewpoint of the sketch on folio 26 recto. At the top right is a brief continuation of the skyline to the right.
There are studies around Weymouth, the nearest town on the mainland, on folios 24 recto and 25 recto (D08835, D08836).
1
Wilton 1979, p.352 no.459, reproduced.
2
Finberg 1909, I, p.354; Wilton 1979, p.352; and Hanley 1992, p.29; Eric Shanes, Turner’s Rivers, Harbours and Coasts, London 1981, p.152, only mentions CXXIV 26.
3
Bertha Porter, ‘Penn, John (1760–1834)’, revised by Rebecca Mills, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 3 March 2009, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21850.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by John Ruskin in red ink ‘648’ top right, upside down. There is some abrasion at the bottom left corner.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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