Joseph Mallord William Turner

Carreg Cennen Castle from the South-West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 135 × 95 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XL 37 a

Catalogue entry

This dramatic subject is continued on folio 40 recto (D01527; Turner Bequest XL 38). Turner accorded Carreg Cennen considerable attention in his contemporary Hereford Court sketchbook (Tate D01267–D01270, D01341; Turner Bequest XL 17–20, 87). This is one of only two subjects in the present book to have been worked up to such an extent. The other (D01627–D01628; Turner Bequest XL 95–96), is mounted as a separate drawing.
The rich and sombre palette Turner uses here is an indication of his association of the castle on its dramatic crag with general ideas of the Sublime. It is surprising, therefore, that he finished only one known watercolour of the subject (currently untraced),1 which was probably executed for the Hon. Edward Spencer Cowper whose name is inscribed on the verso of D01267 in the Hereford Court book. Further views of Carreg Cennen in the present sketchbook are on folios 41 verso–42 recto and 45 verso–46 recto (D01529–D01530, D01536–D01537; Turner Bequest XL 39a–40, 43a–44).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.246 no.327, reproduced.

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