Joseph Mallord William Turner

Birmingham from the South-West; with a Sketch map


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 19 a

Catalogue entry

A sketch map, made with the page turned vertically, is labelled variously ‘C[...] Island’, ‘Bridge’, ‘Manor H’, ‘Mill’ and ‘[?Fall]’. The site it represents has yet to be identified, but is presumably a relatively rural site somewhere on Turner’s Midlands itinerary. A few slight lines on folio 20 recto opposite (D22010) may have been another attempt at the same map.
The drawing at the inside of the page, made with the book turned horizontally, extends only a couple of centimetres from the gutter, and continues less than half way across folio 20 recto opposite (D22010). It is, unusually, an extension of the drawing of Birmingham on the recto of the current leaf (D22008), which also continues across folio 18 verso (D22007). Before beginning on the present page, Turner would have turned back the recto, doubling it up almost into the gutter, and presumably held it there while extending the panorama here and onto the opposite page. For other views of Birmingham, see under folio 3 verso (D21980).
Technical notes:
Without recognising its relationship to the preceding sketch, Finberg refers to the thin sliver of townscape here as a ‘continuation of the following drawing’, i.e. CCXXXVIII ‘20’ in his text, titled ‘Leicester Abbey’.1 The latter subject has since been bound inverted as the verso of folio 20 (D22011, i.e. folio 20 verso), and has been assigned the pseudo-Finberg number CCXXXVIII 20v, while what is evidently the true continuation from the present page is now bound opposite as folio 20 recto (D22010) and stamped ‘CCXXXVIII – 20’.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Finberg 1909, II, p.730.

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