Joseph Mallord William Turner The Monnow Bridge, Monmouth 1795

Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Monnow Bridge, Monmouth
From South Wales Sketchbook
Turner Bequest XXVI
Date 1795
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 203 x 264 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00617
Turner Bequest XXVI 63
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Catalogue entry

The bridge over the Monnow, which joins the Wye at Monmouth, is a medieval structure with an ancient gate tower standing on the bridge itself, which creates an eminently picturesque composition. It was a favourite subject with the topographical artists of the late eighteenth century.
Finberg notes without further comment that the subject of this drawing was sometimes called ‘Gateway and Bridge, Ragland’.1 Dr Michael Rowlands, author of Monnow Bridge and Gate (Stroud 1994), notes that Finberg seems to have been ‘misled by a mistake made in Henry Gastineau’s book Wales Illustrated [1830 and other editions] ... Two versions of Gastineau’s steel engraving of the bridge exist’ but ‘sometimes the print shares the same page as a view entitled “THE KEEP OF RAGLAND CASTLE”. Someone must have got confused because under the Monnow Bridge print it says “GATEWAY & BRIDGE, RAGLAND.”’2
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. For a note on Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, see under Tate D08159 (Vaughan Bequest CXVIII E).
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.63; Finberg 1918, p.101.
2
Dr Michael Rowlands, email to Tate, 3 February 2015; this information is here gratefully acknowledged.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed by ?John Ruskin in pencil ‘6’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Revised by Matthew Imms
February 2015

About this artwork