Joseph Mallord William TurnerStonehenge: The Inner Sarsen 'Horseshoe' from the South-West 1811

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Stonehenge: The Inner Sarsen 'Horseshoe' from the South-West
From Devonshire Coast, No.1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXIII
Date 1811
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 75 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08750
Turner Bequest CXXIII 212
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 215 Recto:
Stonehenge: The Inner Sarsen ‘Horseshoe’ from the South-West 1811
D08750
Turner Bequest CXXIII 212
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?N yellow]’ top left, ‘grey’ centre left, ‘[... Cloud]’ top centre, and ‘Grey’ centre right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘212’ top left, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 212’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s viewpoint is the south-western perimeter of the outer circle, little of which survives on that side. The stone seen leaning away here at the centre has since been set upright, and a trilithon next to it in the central ‘horseshoe’ has been re-erected. By coincidence, the angle is similar to that shown in one of two drawings made at Stonehenge by John Constable in July 1820 (Victoria and Albert Museum).1
There are three further sketches of the site in the current book, on folios 214 verso, 215 verso and 216 recto (D08749, D08751, D08752; CXXIII 211a, 212a, 213); for further drawings and related works see the introduction to the contemporary Stonehenge sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CXXV b).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
Graham Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, New Haven and London 1984, p.49 no.20.17, pl.144.

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