Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bridgnorth from the South; ?Peak Cavern, Castleton, or Another Peak District Cave


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 78 a

Catalogue entry

The subject was identified as ‘Bridgenorth’ (sic) by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.1 For Shrewsbury, as suggested by Finberg in 1909, see under folio 12 verso (D22172).
The view, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, is along the valley of the River Severn, looking north to Bridgnorth’s bridge, and continues across folio 80 recto opposite (D22297; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 79). There is a similar view on folio 1 recto (D22151), under which other sketches are mentioned, and on folios 77verso–78 recto (D22292, D22293; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 76a, 77) and the recto (D22295).
At the outer half of the leaf is a slight but vigorous sketch, apparently of a cave. Its orientation is unclear, but it may show the inside of Peak Cavern, below Peveril Castle at Castleton, as seen elsewhere in this sketchbook (see under folio 1 verso; D22152), or another Peak District cave.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.736; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.736; confirmed by Ian Warrell in notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.

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