Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cliffs, Possibly near Sidmouth; ?Old Sarum


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 207

Catalogue entry

The main view shows rugged coastal cliffs with the sun just above them. They may be characteristic of the Sidmouth area (see folios 206 verso and 208 recto; D08734, D08737; CXXIII 203a, 205), making this a late afternoon view towards the west.
At the top left, separated by vertical and horizontal strokes, appears a smaller landscape which appears to feature a terraced hill or large earthwork. The profile suggests Old Sarum, which Turner would seen just to the west when travelling south between Stonehenge (see folios 214 verso, 215 recto and verso and 216 recto; D08749–D08752; Turner Bequest CXXIII 211a, 212, 212a, 213) and Salisbury in the final stages of his West Country tour. He wrote about the site in his extended topographical poem in this sketchbook (see folio 33 verso; D08424) and had recorded the view of Salisbury Cathedral from the hill in the Isle of Wight sketchbook in 1795 (Tate D00421; Turner Bequest XXIV 14b). Eric Shanes has discussed the links between Turner’s subsequent treatments of Stonehenge and Old Sarum.1

Matthew Imms
June 2011

See Eric Shanes, Turner’s England 1810–38, London 1990, p.187.

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop