Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Logan Rock, Treryn Dinas


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 141 x 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 21

Catalogue entry

The Logan Rock is on the right of the outcrop in the foreground, in its setting of the Cornish headland of Treryn Dinas south of Treen. Beyond to the west is the coast towards Pedn-mên-an-mere, beyond Porth Curno. For other views around Treryn Dinas, the Logan Stone and Porth Curno, see under folio 17 recto (D41292).
Turner did not develop this subject for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast (see the introduction to the 1811 tour), but in 1818 a similar view by Peter De Wint was engraved for the project (Tate impressions: T05424, T05425), showing a group of figures rocking the stone while a companion sits precariously on its summit. In 1824 Lieutenant Goldsmith of the Royal Navy and his men managed to dislodge the stone completely but were forced to restore it after a public outcry.1
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject as ‘Cliffs’ in a manuscript listing,2 while C.F. Bell correctly described it in his own notes as ‘Logan Rock’.3 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
For a recent account see Gary R. Varner, Menhirs, Dolmen and Circles of Stone: The Folklore and Magic of Sacred Stone, New York 2004, p.129.
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 22.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 21.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Logan Rock, Cornwall’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘120 | 22’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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