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Ludlow is dominated by its castle, which dates from the early twelfth century; after Chepstow (see folio 14 recto; D01260; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 11), ‘the largest and best-preserved in the whole of the Welsh Marches’,1 it rises imposingly on a hill in a loop of the River Teme, lending itself naturally to impressive pictorial effects. Finberg mistakenly listed the subject as ‘Chepstow Castle’.2
Turner completed two watercolours using this drawing, in the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California,3 and (a smaller version) in the Barber Institute, Birmingham.4 Another view of Ludlow Castle is on folio 97 recto (D01317; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 63), and the Weir Bridge is shown on folio 98 recto (D01343; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 89).
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Pope | Mr | Munden’, ‘Ld Essex | Earl of Essex’, and ‘LM’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
It would be interesting to know whether the ‘Mr Munden’ who apparently commissioned a watercolour of the view on the recto of this sheet was Joseph Munden, the celebrated comic actor (1758–1832). ‘Pope’ presumably refers to Alexander Pope the miniature painter (1763–1835), who also commissioned views of Llyn Cwellyn, folio 66 recto (D01351; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 97) and Conwy, folio 81 recto (D01304; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 50a).