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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

‘Rivers of Devon’ c.1814–15

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This section comprises Ivy Bridge, Devonshire, the single finished work in the Turner Bequest related to the Rivers of Devon engraving project. As distinct from his ongoing Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England series (see the Introduction to the ‘West Country 1811’ section of this catalogue), in 1815 the publisher W.B. Cooke (1778–1855) commissioned watercolours from Turner for an unspecified number of Devon river subjects. The artist had visited the county in 1811, and again at greater length in 1813 and 1814 (see the Introductions to the respective sections of this catalogue). Although it was advertised in 1818, the project never came to full fruition, probably because the Southern Coast was such a major undertaking in itself, while Cooke’s concurrent Views in Sussex (see the Introduction to the ‘East Sussex c.1806–20’ section of this catalogue) had proved unsuccessful, but three engravings were published within a ...
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Ivy Bridge, Devonshire c.1814–15
D18157
Turner Bequest CCVIII X
This section comprises Ivy Bridge, Devonshire, the single finished work in the Turner Bequest related to the Rivers of Devon engraving project. As distinct from his ongoing Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England series (see the Introduction to the ‘West Country 1811’ section of this catalogue),1 in 1815 the publisher W.B. Cooke (1778–1855) commissioned watercolours from Turner for an unspecified number of Devon river subjects.2 The artist had visited the county in 1811, and again at greater length in 1813 and 1814 (see the Introductions to the respective sections of this catalogue). Although it was advertised in 1818,3 the project never came to full fruition, probably because the Southern Coast was such a major undertaking in itself,4 while Cooke’s concurrent Views in Sussex (see the Introduction to the ‘East Sussex c.1806–20’ section of this catalogue) had proved unsuccessful,5 but three engravings were published within a few years, and the fourth in 1850. A concordance of the series is set out below.
Plymouth Citadel. Watercolour, c.1813 (untraced); etched 1814 and engraved 1815, published 1823 as a pair with the subsequent composition: Tate T06009, T05785.6 Sketches: Plymouth, Hamoaze sketchbook (Tate D09224, D09225; Turner Bequest CXXXI 7, 8)
Plymouth Sound. Watercolour, c.1813 (untraced); engraved 1815, published 1823 as a pair with the preceding: Tate T06010, T05786.7 Sketches: Plymouth, Hamoaze sketchbook (Tate D09226, D09227; Turner Bequest CXXXI 9, 10)
Ivy Bridge, Devonshire. Watercolour, c.1814–15 (Tate D18157; Turner Bequest CCVIII X, catalogued in the present section); engraved 1816, published 1821: Tate T06011.8 Sketch: Tate D09722 (Turner Bequest CXXXIII 45); compare Tate D08655 (Turner Bequest CXXIII 153a)
Dartmoor: The Source of the Tamar and the Torridge. Watercolour, c.1813 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven); engraved 1816, not published until 1850: Tate T07093.9 Sketch: no direct source identified.
The following work was not engraved for the series, but has been linked to it:10
The Banks of the Tavy (‘Sunshine on the Tamar’). Watercolour, c.1813 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford); chromo-lithograph 1855 (no Tate impression).11 Sketch: Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10285; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 53a)
Sam Smiles has also suggested that the following design, mezzotinted for Cooke’s later Marine Views series,12 was originally a potential Rivers of Devon subject:13
The Eddystone Lighthouse. Watercolour, c.1817 (private collection); engraved 1824: Tate T04820.14 Sketches: Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10257, D10258, D10260; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 39, 40, 41)
1
See also Luke Herrmann, ‘Southern Coast of England, Picturesque Views of [sic] the’ in Joll, Butlin and Herrmann 2001, p.307.
2
See Shanes 1990, p.10, and Smiles 2001, p.264; see also Smiles 1995, p.104.
3
See Rawlinson I 1908, p.74, and Shanes 1981, p.21.
4
See Shanes 1990, p.10, and Smiles 2001, p.264.
5
See Rawlinson I 1908, p.74.
6
Wilton 1979, p.350 no.440; Rawlinson I 1908, pp.xci, 74–5 no.137.
7
Wilton 1979, p.350 no.441; Rawlinson I 1908, pp.xci, 75 no.138.
8
Wilton 1979, p.350 no.442, reproduced; Rawlinson I 1908, pp.xci, 75–6 no.139.
9
Wilton 1979, p.350 no.443, reproduced; Rawlinson I 1908, pp.xci, 76 no.140.
10
See Wilton 1979, p.350; Shanes 1981, p.[22] under no.18; Shanes 1990, pp.10, 40 under no.17; Smiles 2001, p.264.
11
Wilton 1979, p.350 no.444, reproduced; Rawlinson I 1908, p.cxv, II 1913, p.415 no.851, as ‘The Banks of the Tavy’.
12
Rawlinson I 1908, p.cix, II 1913 pp.371–3, nos.770–772.
13
See Smiles 2001, p.264.
14
Wilton 1979, p.357 no.506; Rawlinson I 1908, p.cix, II 1913, p.372 no.771, p.373 no.773 (small replica).

Matthew Imms
July 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘‘Rivers of Devon’ c.1814–15’, July 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/rivers-of-devon-r1149251, accessed 28 May 2017.