Joseph Mallord William Turner

?The Tipton Entrance to Dudley Canal Tunnel


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 x 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 40

Catalogue entry

Frank Milner identified this rough sketch, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, as showing the Tipton entrance to the Dudley Canal tunnel, where ‘Barges pay to go thro[ugh]’ as Turner noted.1 The tunnel runs for about two miles south-west under Dudley, and its northern entrance is now part of the Black Country Living Museum, but the stark, open landscape shown here is difficult to relate to specific features today. There is a similar view on folio 39 verso opposite (D22396). As part of unpublished Turner research informed by local knowledge, Dr Bernard Richards independently suggested the same subject.2 Milner made a loose connection with the industrial canal setting of Turner’s watercolour Dudley, Worcestershire of about 1832 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),3 engraved in 1835 for England and Wales (Tate impressions: T05097, T06113, T06114), while noting that ‘there is no fully worked out foreground study’.
For more on the watercolour and other views of Dudley, see under folio 39 recto (D22395).
Milner 1990, p.54.
Conversation with the author, 14 May 2013.
Wilton 1979, p.400 no.858, pl.195.
Technical notes:
This leaf is affected by the extensive pale brown, mottled staining which extends throughout this particular gathering (folios 31–42; D22379–D22402) and also folios 30 and 43 recto and verso (D22377, D22378, D22403, D22404), as discussed in the Technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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