Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Draft of Poetry; with Sketches of Fowey Blockhouse, the Isle of Wight from Christchurch, and a Church Tower, Possibly St Fimbarrus’s, Fowey


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 x 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 31

Catalogue entry

Across the middle of the page is a delicate profile of the Isle of Wight, showing Totland Bay and the Needles from the same angle as in other sketches with the coast at Christchurch in the foreground on folios 22 recto and 27 recto (D08403, D08411); see the entry for the former for other sketches made around Christchurch.
Superimposed above is a heavier sketch of the blockhouse at Fowey, looking south-west from the estuary, in an apparent repetition of the very slight upper view on folio 29 verso (D08416). Arbitrarily placed at the bottom edge to the left is the rough elevation of the upper part of a church tower, which seems to be that of St Fimbarrus in Fowey. For other views in and around Fowey see under folio 5 verso (D08371).
Turner’s inscription is a single phrase of poetry – a variation of the beginning of the passage on the opposite page, folio 30 verso (D08418). Interspersed with drawings and the printed pages of Coltman’s British Itinerary, sixty-nine pages of this sketchbook are given over wholly or partly to these verses which Turner intended as a commentary for publication with the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England which he sketched on the 1811 West Country tour (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The first lines are on folio 18 verso (D08396), and the last on folio 207 verso (D08736; CXXIII 204a). The next passage is on folio 33 verso (D08424).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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