Joseph Mallord William TurnerThe Isle of Wight from Christchurch 1811

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Artwork details

The Isle of Wight from Christchurch
From Devonshire Coast, No.1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXIII
Date 1811
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 75 x 117 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 22
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 22 Recto:
The Isle of Wight from Christchurch 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIII 22
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Inscribed by Turner ‘XC’ bottom left
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘22’ bottom right, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 22’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In this view of the Isle of Wight from the west, the Needles are visible at the eastern end of the island, to the left of the houses in the middle ground. This sketch and that on folio 27 recto (D08411) seem to have been the basis of an unfinished watercolour known as Coast Scene with White Cliffs and Boats (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven),1 of a similar size to those Turner completed for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England project (see the 1811 tour introduction).
There are further views on folios 31 recto and 32 recto (D08419, D08421), and the island and the Needles are mentioned in Turner’s poetry on folio 61 recto (D08479; CXXIII 58). There are slight sketches of Christchurch Priory on folios 24 recto and 34 recto (D08406, D08425), and a detailed view, possibly made on the same occasion, in the larger Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10310; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 67).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.355 no.488, reproduced; it has since been described as ‘definitely not by Turner’: see Eric Shanes, ‘Books’, Turner Studies, vol.1, no.1, Summer 1981, p.47.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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