Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Cyfarthfa Ironworks and the Valley of the Taf, Looking South-East

1798

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 289 x 455 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01632
Turner Bequest XLI 4

Catalogue entry

Cefn-coed-y-cymmer is a village on the north-western outskirts of Merthyr, at the crossing of the Brecon road with that between Neath and Ebbw Vale. Pen-y darran, another works, was founded in 1782 and remained in production until 1859; it lay a mile north-east of Merthyr. The Plymouth works were a mile south of Merthyr, which itself features in the centre distance of this drawing, dominated by its square church tower. The wooden aqueduct feeding the large water-wheel at Cyfarthfa is visible at the right; see D01629 and D01630 (Turner Bequest XLI 1, 2) in this sketchbook.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in a later hand in pencil ‘No 5’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
‘No 5’ was the first furnace Anthony Bacon senior had built at the Plymouth works; he laid the foundation stone himself in 1765. However, it is unlikely that the inscription refers to this; compare the inscription on the verso of D01639 (Turner Bequest XLI 10a) in this sketchbook.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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