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 43 a
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Catalogue entry

The island is seen from the north-east along the causeway to the mainland, accessible only at low tide. Clouds are lightly indicated at the top right. There are other sketches looking along the causeway, nearer and further from the island respectively, on folios 40 verso and 41 verso (D08925, D08927; CXXV 39a, 40a). For other views of the site, see under folio 32 recto (D08910; CXXV 31).
There is a very slight continuation on folio 45 recto opposite (D08934; CXXV 44). Finberg noted this double-page composition as a source for the watercolour St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall of about 1812 (private collection),1 engraved in 1814 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England.2 However, the watercolour does not show the causeway, and the relative angles and juxtapositions of various elements show that instead the source was the drawing on folios 32 verso–33 recto (D08911, D08912; CXXV 31a–32).

Matthew Imms
February 2011

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.350 no.445, reproduced.
Finberg 1909, I, p.356; see also Wilton 1979, p.350, and Shanes 1981, p.152.

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