Joseph Mallord William TurnerRumbling Bridge, Perth and Kinross, and the River Devon 1834

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Rumbling Bridge, Perth and Kinross, and the River Devon
From Stirling and Edinburgh Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCLXIX
Date 1834
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 190 x 113 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26277
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 10
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Recto:
Rumbling Bridge, Perth and Kinross, and the River Devon 1834
D26277
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 10
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 190 x 113 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘10’ top left running vertically and ‘340’ top right running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIX 10’ top right running vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
While many writers have grouped the two sketches on this page among views of the Falls of Clyde in Lanarkshire (folios 1–12; D26259–D26281),1 the sketch at the left of the page, drawn with the book turned to the left, has been identified instead as depicting the Rumbling Bridge over the River Devon in the village of the same name in the district of Perth and Kinross.2 Like Turner’s other two sketches of the bridge (folios 43 and 43 verso; D26339, D26340), this was made from the northern bank of the river just downstream (south) of the bridge. The shadow beneath the lower arch represents the crevice in the rock through which the river flows after tumbling over Devil’s Mill waterfall.
The sketch on the right side of the page, drawn with the book back in the landscape format, depicts a river and perhaps a small waterfall or rapids as seen from a high river bank. While this subject fits well with the Falls of Clyde group, the fact that it is drawn at the edge of the page, with hardly enough room for such a view, suggests that it is unlikely to have been drawn before the Rumbling Bridge, which Turner visited after his trip to Lanarkshire; see Tour of Scotland for Scott’s Poetical Works 1834 Tour Introduction.
A more likely possibility therefore is the River Devon, and the view downstream towards Cauldron Linn from the same vantage point as the Rumbling Bridge sketch. Folio 43 also carries a sketch of a river than is likely to be the Devon.3

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

1
Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.126 under no.451; Milner 1990, p.68.
2
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, vol.10 no.1, p.12; Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, vol.10 no.2, p.30.
3
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, vol.10 no.2, p.30.

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