Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs in Cornwall or North Devon

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 140 x 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41361
Turner Bequest CXXV a 79

Catalogue entry

This undulating coastline is currently unidentified but is typical of the formations Turner drew at various sites in Cornwall and North Devon elsewhere in this sketchbook. The only landmark appears to be a mast on the distant headland towards the right.
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 ‘Cliffs’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Rocky coast’.2 Figures differing from Bell’s sequence are inscribed on the verso of most sheets; they usually correspond with the pagination given in Finberg’s MS catalogue, but here and in a few other cases the numbers do not match, so a tentative connection has been made on the basis of Finberg’s descriptive title.
1
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) 7.
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356C, as CXXVa 79.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘106’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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