Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lantern Hill and St Nicholas’s Chapel, Ilfracombe

1811

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

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
D08753
Turner Bequest CXXIII 213 a

Catalogue entry

The profile of St Nicholas’s Chapel surmounts Lantern Hill, seen to the north across the harbour at Ilfracombe, North Devon. It is the first of four successive slight views, continuing on folios 217 verso, and 218 recto and verso (D08755, D08756, D08757; CXXIII 214a, 215, 215a). Despite transcribing Turner’s inscription ‘Ilfracomb’ from the last of them, Finberg speculated that the first three showed St Michael’s Mount, sketched extensively on the earlier Cornish leg of Turner’s West Country tour as discussed under folio 193 verso (D08715; CXXIII 190a).
There are various other views of Ilfracombe in the Cornwall and Devon sketchbook (see under Tate D41314; Turner Bequest CXXV a 37) and the Somerset and North Devon sketchbook (Tate D08947; Turner Bequest CXXVI 2), used on the same tour. Turner produced a watercolour of Ilfracombe (private collection),1 engraved in 1818 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the introduction to the 1811 tour), but none of the sketches now known correlates closely with its viewpoint.2

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.352 no.462, reproduced.
2
See ibid., mentioning unspecified ‘drawings at Ilfracombe’ in this sketchbook and elsewhere.

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