Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Rocky Cove or Inlet in Cornwall or North Devon


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 141 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 58

Catalogue entry

Apparently seen from its seaward side, this small inlet with beached boats and scattered buildings beyond is currently unidentified, but given the rugged geology and the many North Cornwall and Devon coastal views elsewhere in this sketchbook, it is presumably in the same area. The separate detail at the top left shows houses with hills beyond, perhaps at the same location or nearby.
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 and Turner’s inscription as ‘Rocks on coast. “Lights green with Land ...”’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Rocky bay with shipping’.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) 73.
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 58.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘174 | 73’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet, and some slight rubbing or offsetting.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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