Joseph Mallord William Turner

Carn Brea Castle and St Euny Church, near Redruth


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 46

Catalogue entry

This sketch appears to show the medieval Carn Brea Castle on the summit to the right and the pinnacled tower of St Euny Church, near Redruth, looking south near Carn Brea Village. A railway line, other later developments and trees obstruct various potential viewpoints but a close approximation of the view is from West Trevingey, north of the church.
There are slight indications of what may be a bridge in the foreground, and there is a road crossing a stream towards Carn Brea Village, but trees now obscure the prospect. The castle now shares the summit with a later monument in the form of a giant Celtic cross. A drawing in the contemporary Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D08780; Turner Bequest CXXIII 233a) appears to be of Redruth’s Fore Street with the castle on the skyline in the distance. The watermills on folio 52 recto (D41332) may have been in the area.
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 ‘Cliffs, with church tower in dist. on left’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Hills with ruined castle and square church tower’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
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) 44.
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 46.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘144 | 44’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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