Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bayard’s Cove, Dartmouth


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 103

Catalogue entry

The view is from Bayard’s Cove, on the west side of the Dart Estuary south of Dartmouth. The small Tudor fort to the right, built on a roughly square plan but with rounded corners, survives today as a shell.1 Dartmouth Castle and the tower of St Petrox’s Church appear in outline in the distance to the south-west. The hillside immediately above is now largely covered by houses.
This sketch was used for the centre and right-hand parts of the untraced watercolour Dartmouth, Devon,2 dated by Eric Shanes to about 1811,3 which was engraved in 1815 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). The distant and left-hand parts of the design, including the opposite Kingswear bank, were informed by the sketch on folio 87 recto (D08527; CXXIII 84). The Southern Coast watercolour is enlivened by ships in the estuary and smaller boats landing in the foreground with figures unloading barrels on a broad quay below the fort, none of which are hinted at in the present sketch.
Shanes has cited the drawing on folio 242 recto (D08788; CXXIII 239) as the source of the watercolour, but that view was made from some way above the shore, albeit with Dartmouth Castle in the distance and Kingswear on the opposite bank, and was itself used for a later Rivers of England design.
For other Dartmouth views, see under folio 3 recto (D08366).
See [Katy Carter (ed.)], Heritage Unlocked: Guide to Free [English Heritage] Sites in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, London 2004, pp.6–9.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.351 no.453, as circa 1814; reproduced in Eric Shanes, Turner’s Rivers, Harbours and Coasts, London 1981, p.[144] no.104.
Shanes 1981, p.152.
Technical notes:
There is some ink offsetting from the inscription on folio 105 verso opposite (D08563; CXXIII 102a).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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