Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boscastle Harbour, Willapark and Penally Hill with Profile Rock

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 140 × 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41336
Turner Bequest CXXV a 55 a

Catalogue entry

This faint drawing shows the curved pier of Boscastle’s harbour at the bottom left, looking south-west from the north bank of the River Valency, with Willapark Hill and its tower towards the top centre, overlooking the sea hidden by Penally Hill, capped by the Profile Rock, on the right. There is a small boat towards the bottom centre. A contemporary drawing, showing these features in a different alignment from further up the river, in the Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D08705; Turner Bequest CXXIII 182), was the basis of a watercolour for the Southern Coast series. There is a further drawing, from further towards the sea, on folio 71 recto (D41353).
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 as ‘Rocks on coast’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell did not described it in his own notes.2 Figures, usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence (since adopted as Turner Bequest numbers), are inscribed on the verso of most sheets, as here.
1
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) 54 Reverse.
2
See C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B.
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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