Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Staverton Bridge; Austin’s Bridge near Buckfastleigh, on the River Dart

1814

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 110 x 178 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D09747
Turner Bequest CXXXIII 61 a

Catalogue entry

The page is divided into two with a horizontal pencil line, and again vertically in the lower half to form two quadrants. Across the upper half is a hilly wooded scene with a bridge towards the right, near which Turner notes ‘St[?averton] | 3 arches old’. The first word may be Staverton, signifying the medieval bridge on the River Dart a little to the south-west of the village of the same name. This is not on the direct route north-west through Dartington between Totnes (see under folio 48 verso; D09726) to Buckfastleigh and Buckfast Abbey (see under folio 63 recto; D09750), but Turner may have elected to meander the extra few miles in that direction along the river. Staverton Bridge actually has seven arches, but perhaps Turner did not have a clear view or misremembered.
At the bottom right the viewpoint may be in the neighbourhood of Caddaford, looking north-west up the Dart Valley towards Buckfastleigh, with Austin’s Bridge at the bottom right. The sketch at the bottom left also appears to show the bridge, but trees around it now make the viewpoint uncertain. There is a separate detail of two arches in the corner.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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