Joseph Mallord William Turner
Lulworth Castle and East Lulworth 1811

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Lulworth Castle and East Lulworth
From Corfe to Dartmouth Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXIV
Date 1811
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 170 x 209 mm
Collection
No information available
Reference
D08828
Turner Bequest CXXIV 19
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Turner drew the seventeenth-century Lulworth Castle (later damaged by fire and now restored) and St Andrew’s Church, East Lulworth from the road to the east, probably on first approaching from the direction of Corfe Castle (for views of which see the entry for 17 recto; D08826).1 The Dorset castle and church are about a mile inland, and two miles from West Lulworth and Lulworth Cove, seen on folios 20 recto, 20 verso, 21 recto, 21 verso and 22 recto (D08829–D08833).
Eric Shanes has discussed Turner’s interest in the site in terms of the Catholicism of Thomas Weld, the owner of the castle and Lulworth Cove, to whom he had already dedicated an engraving.2 Presumably as in preparation for his West Country tour, Turner had noted in the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook: ‘Lulworth Castle built about 1600 seat of Thos Weld. entertained their Majesties’ (Tate D10206; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 1). These notes were taken from an approving passage in John Feltham’s Guide to All the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places (revised edition, London 1810, p.461) which also mentions ‘a beautiful expanse of water, and a moving scene of ships’ to be seen from the castle, and a ‘beautiful chapel’. This prominent Baroque, domed building stands in the grounds about the same distance to the north of the castle as the Anglican village church is to the south,3 but Turner made no visual record of the chapel or the coast immediately to the south.
As Finberg noted, this sole sketch of East Lulworth formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshire of about 1820 (Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven),4 engraved in 1821 for Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England5 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). Although the subject is not the ‘only completely inland scene’6 in the series (Corfe Castle being another), its relevance to the theme is perhaps debatable. In the watercolour, Turner exaggerated the height of the hill beyond the castle and church and introduced trees, a pool, cows and figures into the left foreground. There is also a colour beginning (Tate D36118; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV a 271), apparently showing morning light rather than the late afternoon sun of the finished design.7
1
See modern photograph in Hanley 1992, p.25 ‘Cat.31’.
2
Shanes 1981, p.26.
3
For the castle and chapel see Lulworth, Dorset, accessed 9 October 2008, http://www.lulworth.com/Castle_Park/castle_park.htm.
4
Wilton 1979, p.353 no.467, reproduced; see also Hawes 1982, p.175 no.IV.32, reproduced.
5
Finberg 1909, I, p.354; see also Wilton 1979, p.353; Shanes 1981, p.152; Hanley 1992, p.25; and Shanes 1997, p.54.
6
Hawes 1982, p.175; see also p.[61].
7
See Shanes 1997, p.54.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

About this artwork