Joseph Mallord William TurnerMen-of-War or Hulks, Possibly on the Hamoaze with Mount Edgcumbe Beyond 1811

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Men-of-War or Hulks, Possibly on the Hamoaze with Mount Edgcumbe Beyond
From Devonshire Coast, No.1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXIII
Date 1811
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 75 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08717
Turner Bequest CXXIII 192
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 195 Recto:
Men-of-War or Hulks, Possibly on the Hamoaze with Mount Edgcumbe Beyond 1811
D08717
Turner Bequest CXXIII 192
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Part watermark ‘th | 96’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘192’ top left, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 192’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are at least two large vessels, seen from the stern at the left and from the port side in the distance, with a small sailing boat approaching between them. If the warships have not been decommissioned to serve as hulks, they have at least been largely dismasted. The skyline on the right may be Mount Edgcumbe, making the viewpoint the Hamoaze (the Tamar Estuary). Turner’s painting Hulks on the Tamar (Tate T03881; displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex),1 possibly the work exhibited in 1812 as The River Plym,2 shows the stern of a hulk on the left with a smaller boat in front of it approaching the viewer, but the present drawing does not appear to be a direct study for it.
For other views around Plymouth in this sketchbook and elsewhere, see under folio 3 verso (D08367).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.84–5 no.119, pl.126.
2
Ibid., p.84 no.118.

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