Joseph Mallord William Turner St Michael’s Mount from the Causeway 1811

Artwork details

St Michael’s Mount from the Causeway
From Ivy Bridge to Penzance Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXV
Date 1811
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 166 x 208 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 39 a
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Catalogue entry

The view is from the north-east along the causeway to the mainland, accessible only at low tide. Ships’ masts rise above the harbour wall and a small sailing boat lies beached outside the entrance, while a cart and a figure leading a pack animal travel over the track on the left. William Daniell’s 1825 aquatint of the scene for his Voyage Round Great Britain includes similar elements (Tate impression: T03022) and shows the wall to the left of the entrance in the same slightly dilapidated state. The harbour as it is now was rebuilt in 1824, on similar lines.1
Turner drew this side of the castle from the slopes of the mount itself on folios 34 verso–35 recto (D40817, D08915; CXXV 33 verso–34), and there are sketches looking along the causeway from further north on folios 41 verso and 44 verso–45 recto (D08927, D08933, D08934; CXXV 40a, 43a–44). For other views of the site, see under folio 32 recto (D08910; CXXV 31).

Matthew Imms
February 2011

Nikolaus Pevsner, Cornwall, The Buildings of England, 2nd ed., revised by Enid Radcliffe, Harmondsworth 1970, p.194.

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