Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Waterfall, Probably above a Beach 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: 215 × 139 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 51 v

Catalogue entry

This slight sketch shows a waterfall in a gully, with what may be a rock in the foreground. There are cascades from the coastal cliffs at various points in North Cornwall and Devon, such as near the castle at Tintagel (see under folio 9 recto; D41284) or Merlin’s Waterfall at Clovelly (see under folio 43 recto; D41322), but Turner’s drawing is not specific enough to facilitate a positive identification.
As discussed in the introduction, all of the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and most are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest.1 Although the drawing on the recto of this page (D08942; CXXV 51 (bound as CXXV a 23), to which Bell’s inscription refers, was recorded by Finberg in 1909, the present drawing is not mentioned; nor is it listed in Finberg’s or C.F. Bell’s later manuscript notes.2 See the entry for the recto for further discussion.
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909.
See A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356; and C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into another copy of Finberg 1909 at the same location, vol.I, p.356A.
Technical notes:
There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet, which is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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