Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peak District Views near Buxton, Including Ashwood Dale and Lovers’ Leap


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 191 x 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 53

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there are five separate sketches here, divided by pencil lines: one at the top, one occupying most of the central register with another to its right made with the page inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, and large and small views at the bottom, inverted in the same way.
The largest view, at the top, includes a note of the road between ‘B’ and ‘Ba’, most likely Buxton and Bakewell respectively, and probably shows Ashwood Dale, south-east of Buxton. The road east to Bakewell runs side-by-side with the River Wye through the narrow gorge. Woodland now hides much of the rock, making Turner’s exact viewpoints difficult to determine. The other craggy prospects are presumably in the vicinity. The drawing at the bottom left is apparently labelled with two words beginning with ‘L’, perhaps ‘Lo Leap’ or a close variation, referring to Lovers’ Leap, a short ravine on the south side of Ashwood Dale. There are other sketches of it among those on folio 52 verso opposite (D22246), under which other nearby views are discussed.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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