Joseph Mallord William Turner

Kingsbridge from the Estuary


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 95 x 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 163 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the viewpoint is the east bank of Kingsbridge Estuary (actually an extended tidal inlet from the Devon coast some six miles to the south), looking northwards to Kingsbridge itself, dominated by the spire of St Edmund’s Church. The prospect remains recognisable from along Embankment Road, while an 1819 engraving by J. Basire (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter) shows much the same view.
This drawing is part of a sequence working in from the back cover of the sketchbook, which correlates with accounts of a voyage Turner and others made from Plymouth south-east to Burgh Island, returning by land towards Plymouth. The sequence begins on folio 275 (D09476; Turner Bequest CXXXI 186a), under which the overall trip is discussed, and may extend as far as folio 228 verso (Tate D09382; Turner Bequest CXXXI 139a); according to the Devon journalist Cyrus Redding, he and Turner were members of a small party who stayed in the town after visiting Burgh Island.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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