Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coventry from the North-West

1830

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 78 x 110 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22369
Turner Bequest CCXL 26

Catalogue entry

As Finberg and others have recognised,1 this drawing, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation and continuing on folio 25 verso opposite (D22368), is a source for Turner’s watercolour Coventry of about 1832 (British Museum, London),2 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06105), as is the similar view on folios 26 verso–27 recto (D22370, D22371).
Turner’s viewpoint down Hill Street is in the vicinity of the modern Ringway, which cuts across the street (the old toll road towards Birmingham), and later developments largely obstruct the prospect towards the churches.3 Here the adjacent spires of Holy Trinity and St Michael’s are seen on the right, left and right of one another respectively and correct in their relative heights, as can still be seen from Hill Street; in the finished design they have been transposed, apparently inadvertently, with details probably introduced from the study on folio 15 verso (D22348). The dark vertical towards the left appears to be the chimney drawn in more detail on D22371.
For other Coventry views, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.739; Wilton 1975, p.123; Shanes 1979, p.156; Wilton 1979, p.399; and Sloan 1998, p.100.
2
Wilton 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
3
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 2 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/covmaps/allmaps.php.

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