Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tintagel: The Beach and Castle from a Cave in the Cliffs


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 215 x 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 57

Catalogue entry

Through the jagged entrance of one of the caves on the east side of Tintagel Haven, the castle is seen on its height to the south-west, with the steep gap separating the mainland from the Island peninsula to its right and the quay and winch serving the local slate quarries lightly indicated below, near the middle of the sketch. The cave mouth frames the scene shown laterally on folios 32 recto and 33 recto (D41308, D41309); other views of the site are discussed in the entry for the first of these. The caves appear on folio 34 recto (D41310); for other views of Tintagel, see under folio 9 recto (D41284).
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 ‘Rocks’ in a manuscript listing,1 as did C.F. Bell in his own notes.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
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) 55.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B, as CXXVa 57.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘156 | 55’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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