Joseph Mallord William Turner

A River Valley with Mountains Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 229 × 332 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXVIII 95

Catalogue entry

The buildings in the foreground of this expansive view may, as Finberg suggested1 on the basis of the inscription on the verso, be Maes-y-garnedd, the farm in Cwn Nantcol which was the birthplace of John Jones, colonel in the Parliamentary army and regicide. The mountains beyond are then probably Rhinog Fach and Y Llethr. Turner would have travelled down the Mawddach from Dolgellau, stopping at the similarly named Maes-garnedd to make a drawing of the estuary (see folio 48 recto; D01286; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 34) as far as Barmouth, and followed the coast road towards Harlech (see folios 58 to 62; D01292–D01295, D01329; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 40, 41, 42, 42a, 75), and made a detour into the hills to the east of Llanbedr to visit this spot. See also folio 50 recto (D01353; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 99).
However, it is possible that this is in fact a view of Cader Idris from the north, looking across the valley of the Mawddach. If that were the case, the inscription might refer to the same Maes-y-garnedd as in folio 51 recto (D01288; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 36). Compare also the mountain shown on folio 63 recto (D01352; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 98).
Undated note in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.85.
Blank; inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Massygarndd’ (sic); stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram. Compare the inscription on the back of folio 48 recto (D01286; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 34).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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