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

Joseph Mallord William Turner Llanstephan Castle by Moonlight, with a Kiln in the Foreground c.1795

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Llanstephan Castle by Moonlight, with a Kiln in the Foreground c.1795
D00689
Turner Bequest XXVIII D
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 213 x 281 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is based on the pencil drawing in the South Wales sketchbook (Tate D00571; Turner Bequest XXVI 18). The contrast of medieval ruins with modern industry prefigures various later works, notably the view of Dudley, Worcestershire executed in about 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales series (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight).1 There is a more direct connection, as well, with the subject of Turner’s first exhibited oil painting, Fishermen at Sea, which appeared at the Royal Academy in 1796 (305) (Tate T01585).2 It is a night scene, with both moonlight and firelight.
Turner drew Llanstephan again, though from farther away up the estuary, on his tour of 1798; see the Hereford Court sketchbook (Tate D01277, D01278; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 26, 27).
The verso is D40057.
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.400 no.858, pl.195.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.1–2 no.1, pl.1 (colour).
Technical notes:
The sheet is stained. Having been severely damaged by a spill of varnish, it had evidently been abandoned. It remained effectively ignored in the Turner Bequest until conservation including the removal of the varnish rendered it fit for display for the first time in the exhibition Young Turner of 1988.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Llanstephan Castle by Moonlight, with a Kiln in the Foreground c.1795 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-llanstephan-castle-by-moonlight-with-a-kiln-in-the-r1141186, accessed 12 July 2014.