Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Caskets, Alderney; Rocky Cliffs

?1832

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 187 x 114 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23693
Turner Bequest CCLII 90

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned vertically, Turner drew scenes of jagged cliffs and distant reefs onto this page. A note by the artist towards the top left-hand corner identifies the off-shore rocks depicted just below as the treacherous reef near Alderney known as The Caskets. 1 This geological phenomenon recurs on several pages, including on folios 91 verso (D23696; Turner Bequest CCLII 91a) and 92 recto (D23697; Turner Bequest CCLII 92).
The high cliffs with pinnacles of rock running down to the sea are characteristic of the Alderney coast although they are also a feature of Sark Island, which was the subject of extensive study in this sketchbook.

John Chu
April 2014

1
J.T. Cochrane, A Guide to the Island of Guernsey, St Peter Port 1826, p.138.

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