Joseph Mallord William Turner

From Heysham, Looking across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Mountains

1816

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 125 x 206 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11510
Turner Bequest CXLVII 41

Catalogue entry

This is the right half of a double-page spread continued from folio 40 verso (D11509), recording the panorama of Morecambe Bay from above Heysham village, with Heysham Head and St Patrick’s Chapel to the left, and the Lake District mountains in the distance with (left to right on this page), the Coniston ‘Old Man’ group, ‘Holker’ Hall, ‘Floo[kburgh]’ and Castle H[ead]’. The inscription of Flookburgh appears to be misplaced. The village of Flookburgh lies on the same line of sight as Holker Hall. Turner is probably referring to Kents Bank, east of Flookburgh, where the crossing over the sands to Lancaster began. The hills in the right distance to the right of ‘Floo[kburgh]’ are the Fairfield group, Kirkstone Fell and in the distance to the right of Castle Head, the High Street group. The sketch formed the basis of a studio watercolour Heysham and Cumberland Mountains (British Museum, London)1 dated 1818 and engraved in 1822 for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s History of Richmondshire, part of the projected seven-volume General History of the County of York (see Introduction to the sketchbook).
Above, to the right, Turner has continued the panorama to include ‘Arnside’ Knott.

David Hill
February 2009

1
Wilton 1979, p.366 no.579. Hill, Warburton and Tussey 1980 point out that the identification of the distant mountains as in Cumberland, as in the title of the watercolour, is an error. The mountains were in the old county of Lancashire. In 1974 the whole of the Lake District was taken into the new county of Cumbria.

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