Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bude: The Coast from Wrangle Point to Lower Sharpnose Point


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 x 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 40

Catalogue entry

This sketch has been noted in relation to the watercolour Ilfracombe, North Devon of about 1813–16 (private collection),1 engraved in 1818 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction), along with those on folios 37 recto and verso, 38 recto and 39 recto (D41314–D41317).2 However, the profiles of the various headlands appear to correspond with those running up the Cornish coast beyond Wrangle Point, north of Bude Haven, towards Lower Sharpnose Point, some four miles to the north. The beach here is characterised by dramatic sandstone formations, eroded from vertical strata.
It may be that a sketch of ‘sand-landing’ among jagged coastal rocks in the contemporary Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D08368; Turner Bequest CXXIII 4) shows activities here or nearby. For other Bude sketches in the present book, see under folio 35 recto (D41311); the same or similar rock formations are shown on folios 63 recto and 68 recto (D41345, D41350).
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 ‘Rocky coast’ in a manuscript listing,3 as did C.F. Bell in his own notes.4 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.352 no.462, reproduced.
Shanes 1981, p.152.
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) 69.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B, as CXXVa 40.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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