Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cheddar Gorge: Wind Rock


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 222 × 180 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV b 8

Catalogue entry

This appears to be a view of Wind Rock, looking west from the road through Cheddar Gorge, indicated to the lower right. It is the last of a sequence of sketches beginning on folio 1 recto (D41374), showing the gorge; most appear to have been made in a concentrated area around the Horseshoe Bend, out of sight to the right here.
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’, which appear to have originally been loose sheets, are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject as ‘Rocks’ in a manuscript list,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Rocky gorge, “Yellow (?) Stone”’.2 Figures corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of each sheet.
Although this page and folio 7 recto (D41380) are listed in the ‘Catalogue’ checklist of James Hamilton’s exhibition catalogue Turner and the Scientists, where they are described as ‘Devon’ views and as no.106 and fig.121,3 it appears from Tate registrars’ records that folio 6 recto (D41379) – the work actually reproduced – was exhibited. It would not in any case have been feasible to exhibit two successive rectos at once.
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.357, as CXXV(b) 15.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356C, as CXXVB 8.
James Hamilton, Turner and the Scientists, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1998, p.141.
Technical notes:
The sheet is wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘219 | 15’ bottom left, descending vertically (partly trimmed). There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet. A straight-edged strip of about 16 mm along the outer edge and continuing a little along the adjacent sides is darkened, apparently from exposure to light or dust. There is a similar effect on the blank verso of folio 9 (the recto being D41382).

Matthew Imms
May 2010

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