Eric Shanes has recognised this as a view of Barnstaple Bridge, with its sixteen arches over the River Taw as indicated by Turner’s inscription, which Finberg misidentified as the twenty-four-arched bridge at nearby Bideford.1 At the top right is what appears to be a brief continuation of buildings, boats and trees from the right of the main sketch. Shanes relates the sketch to a watercolour study (Tate D25443; Turner Bequest CCLXIII) with a sixteen-arched bridge juxtaposed with a spire and a boat under construction to the right, apparently taken from the half-page sketch on folio 70 verso (D09555). The drawings in between, on folios 67 recto, 68 recto, 69 recto and 70 recto (D09551–D09554), noted by Finberg as the ‘same bridge’ are therefore also identifiable as of Barnstaple Bridge and its surroundings. The two drawings of a similar bridge on folio 79 recto and verso (D09564, D09565) do indeed, as Finberg suggested, show Bideford, as the latter sketch is annotated ‘24’.2
The present page was exhibited in Light into Colour: Turner in the South West at St Ives and Plymouth in 2006.3
Finberg 1909, I, p.374.
Shanes 1997, pp.59, 92 note 2 under no.40; for the watercolour, see p.58 no.39, reproduced (colour).
Sketchbook noted in ‘List of Works’ in Sam Smiles, Light into Colour: Turner in the South West, exhibition catalogue, Tate St Ives 2006, p.55, but folio not specified; page reproduced on exhibition microsite, Tate, accessed 10 June 2014, http://www
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