View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The island is viewed from the north-east, from the bay on the mainland a little to the east of Marazion, indicated on the far right. The orientation is similar to that in the view from further back on the road above the shore on folio 32 recto (D08910; CXXV 31). At first sight the present drawing appears to continue left onto folio 44 recto opposite (D08932; CXXV 43), but the latter sketch appears to be a second view of the rocky mainland shore seen here. Rolling rainclouds are sketched in, and the shading on the south-east slopes of the island and the eastern face of its harbour wall suggest strong afternoon light.
Eric Shanes has noted that this sketch and the one opposite informed the watercolour Mount St Michael, Cornwall of about 1836 (University of Liverpool),1 engraved in 1838 for the series Picturesque Views in England and Wales.2 The weather in the watercolour is dramatic, with strong sunshine breaking through rain clouds, and the juxtaposition of the island and Marazion is similar to that in the present sketch, although the castle itself is shown rather inaccurately despite all the careful fieldwork in this sketchbook, and the foreground is filled with figures loading pack animals with salvaged wood from wrecks. This activity may have been recorded in the foreground of the drawing opposite, although it is very difficult to decipher.
For other views of the site, see under folio 32 recto (D08910; CXXV 31).
- symbols & personifications(7,117)