Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mill Gill Fall, near Askrigg

1816

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 173 x 260 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11552
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 18

Catalogue entry

This is the right part of a double-page spread, continued from the main sketch on folio 37 recto (D11551; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 17a), not currently bound contiguously but together recording a single view of Mill Gill Fall, near Askrigg. Mill Gill Fall is less than a mile north-west of Askrigg in Wensleydale. Turner also sketched Mill Gill Fall from a slightly more distant viewpoint in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (D11290–D11291; Turner Bequest CXLV 145a–146). The present sketch, however, is larger, and more detailed and painstaking, and served as the basis of a studio colour study (D25255; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 133). This must have been made in preparation for a finished watercolour for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s General History of the County of York (see sketchbook introduction) but no such works appears ever to have been completed. The present writer dates Turner’s sketches of Mill Gill to Friday 26 July 1816.
Turner’s inscription is mistaken as Whitfield Gill is further upstream than Mill Gill. Turner drew two sketches of Whitfield Gill Force in the Yorkshire 4 sketchbook (Tate D11449, D11450; Turner Bequest CXLVII 4a, 5) but evidently got into a muddle over the names of these falls; the latter sketch is wrongly inscribed ‘Mill Gill Askrigg’
In the present binding this page is mistakenly presented as a double-page spread with folio 33 verso (D11576; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 31a). The correct association with D11551 was in fact noticed by Finberg and it is not obvious why it was not adopted, or he was overruled, when the book was reconstituted. For comments on the need for a better ordering of the contents see notes to folio 33 verso (D11576; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 31a).

David Hill
May 2009

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