J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner Landscape Composition with a Ruined Castle on a Cliff 1792-3

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Landscape Composition with a Ruined Castle on a Cliff 1792–3
D00391
Turner Bequest XXIII Q
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 214 x 273 mm
Watermark ‘J WHATMAN’
Stamped in black ‘XXIII Q’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Probably an imaginary scene, the castle perhaps based on Llanstephan (Carmarthen) though there is no evidence that Turner travelled so far west in either 1792 or 1793. The invented subject, together with the signature on the verso (D40052), raises the possibility that this was a composition lent to a pupil for copying; compare Tate D00848 (XXXI F). If so, dating as it must from around 1792–3, this is the earliest recorded work of the type. For other drawings in this style, heavily influenced by P.J. de Loutherbourg (1740–1812), see Tate D00392 and D00396 (Turner Bequest XXIII R, V).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Landscape Composition with a Ruined Castle on a Cliff 1792–3 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-landscape-composition-with-a-ruined-castle-on-a-cliff-r1141144, accessed 23 August 2014.