Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs at Sidmouth with ?Cattle; Bideford Bar


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 17 a

Catalogue entry

The smaller drawing, of a tiny vessel off Bideford Bar (sandbanks at the entrance to the Taw and Torridge estuaries, about six miles north of the town of Bideford), appears as it were in the sky of the main Sidmouth view, and is so slight as to make the viewpoint difficult to place. Likewise, the soft red mudstone cliffs east and west of Sidmouth are prone to erosion and the site of the rapid main sketch is also elusive.
Sidmouth and Bideford are on the south-east and north-west coasts of Devon respectively. Turner travelled clockwise round the coast (see the introduction to the 1811 tour) and there would thus have been a considerable interval between the making of the two sketches. There are further views of Sidmouth on folios 206 verso and 208 recto (D08734, D08737; CXXIII 203a, 205) and of Bideford on folios 18 verso–19 recto (D08396; D08397) and in the contemporary Cornwall and Devon sketchbook (Tate D41313; Turner Bequest CXXV a 36).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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