Joseph Mallord William Turner

Falmouth Harbour

1811

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: 75 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08538
Turner Bequest CXXIII 89 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg’s interpretation of Turner’s inscription, which remains undeciphered, is incorrect. The view is of Falmouth, looking south-east towards Pendennis Castle on the peninsula rising beyond. The viewpoint is below the Beacon, at about where Harbour Terrace and Erisey Terrace now meet above the High Street, from where the tower of the Church of King Charles the Martyr can be seen beyond later houses on the hillside.
There is a similar view on folio 114 recto (D08579; CXXIII 111), and both were presumably used in composing the watercolour Falmouth Harbour of about 1812–14 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),1 engraved in 1816 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction).
For other views in and around Falmouth see under folio 7 verso (D08375).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.351–2 no.455, reproduced.

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