Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Michael’s Mount: The Eastern Range of the Castle


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 166 x 208 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 38 a

Catalogue entry

Turner sketches the castle from the island’s rocky shore, looking up to the south-eastern corner. On the left appears part of the southern range, also recorded in the drawing on folios 37 verso–38 recto (D08921, D08922; CXXV 37a–38), the near end of which was rebuilt in the 1870s1 to incorporate twin oriel turrets. The east side was transformed at the same time, most conspicuously by the addition of a cylindrical tower half-embedded in the façade and flanked by two tall clusters of chimneys which now impede the view of the square central church tower shown here. Beyond the island to the lower left is the distant western coastline of Mount’s Bay.
The view is comparable to that shown in an engraving after Clarkson Stanfield, published in 1836 in Stanfield’s Coast Scenery (Tate impression: T05631), by which time a terrace supported by a Gothic arcade had been constructed around the former chapel shown on the right of Turner’s drawing, prior to further Victorian rebuilding.
For Turner’s 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.195.

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