Joseph Mallord William Turner

Looking down on Conway Castle, from the South-East

c.1799–1800

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 550 x 770 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D03652
Turner Bequest LX a K

Catalogue entry

This is one of the sequence of North Welsh studies bearing Turner’s numbering; this subject is however perhaps a preparation for a composition similar to the 1800 watercolour Caernarvon Castle (Tate D04164; Turner Bequest LXX M), rather than a study on the spot like the majority of the rest: this is a carefully considered ‘topographical view’ rather than an observation made on the spot. Having originally identified it as Cockermouth Castle,1 Finberg recognised its true subject2 and considered it a ‘Very fine beginning not painted from nature’.3 Several watercolours of Conway dating from the close of the century are known,4 as well as a large oil painting (private collection );5 none of these duplicates the composition of this study.
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.163.
2
A.J. Finberg (died 1939), undated MS note in an interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.163.
3
MS note ibid., opposite p.163.
4
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.329 – 30, nos.268 – 272 (various collections, some reproduced).
5
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.107–8 no.141, pl.146 (colour).
Technical notes:
There are colour trials in the left margin.
Verso:
Blank

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Read full Catalogue entry