Joseph Mallord William TurnerMossdale Upper Falls, Wensleydale 1816

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Mossdale Upper Falls, Wensleydale
From Yorkshire 5 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXLVIII
Date 1816
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 173 x 260 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11549
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 16
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 38 Recto:
Mossdale Upper Falls, Wensleydale 1816
D11549
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 16
Pencil on white wove paper, 173 x 260 mm
Stamped in black ‘CXLVIII 16’ top left, inverted
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is the left and main part of a double-page spread, continued to the right in a few lines on folio 37 verso (D11550; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 17, now bound opposite), recording the upper falls at Mossdale in Wensleydale about two and three quarter miles north-west of Hawes. Turner made a number of sketches of the falls at Mossdale in this sketchbook, on folios 31 verso, 32 verso and 33 verso (D11568, D40861, D11576; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 27a, 25a, 31a), which the present writer dates to Saturday 27 July 1816.
This sketch formed the basis of a studio watercolour, Moss Dale Fall (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge),1 painted about 1816–17 for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s seven-volume General History of the County of York (see sketchbook introduction) and engraved by Samuel Middiman in 1822 for the completed part, History of Richmondshire. Eric Shanes has provided a concentrated analysis of the way in which Turner adapted the material of the sketch into the finished composition.2
Finberg wrongly associated this page with folio 30 recto (D11548; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 15a), but the mistake had been noticed and the book rebound accordingly prior to the present writer’s 1984 book. In the present binding, however, the sketch of Mossdale Falls is inverted in relation to the main sequence of subjects, and the Mossdale subjects are interrupted by sketches of Kilnsey in Wharfedale made some days earlier in the itinerary. A fairly comprehensive reordering of this part of the book appears to be required. For further comment see notes to folio 33 verso (D11576; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 31a).
1
Wilton 1979, pp.365–6 no.572.
2
Shanes 1990, p.259.
Verso:
Blank

David Hill
May 2009

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