Joseph Mallord William Turner

Clovelly from Buck’s Mills


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 223

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes has noted that this sketch is the basis for the watercolour Clovelly Bay of about 1822 (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin),1 engraved in 1824 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). He also mentions several related drawings in the contemporary Cornwall and Devon sketchbook (Tate D41322–D41324, D41346, D41347; Turner Bequest CXXV a 43, 44, 45, 64, 65).2 There are further views in that book (Tate D41370, D41373; Turner Bequest CXXV a 88, 90), and what may be a view of Buck’s Mills itself, looking up from the beach (Tate D41341; Turner Bequest CXXV a 60). A single view made in Clovelly itself is on folios 224 verso–225 recto (D41521, D08765) of the present sketchbook.
This drawing defines the overall composition of the watercolour, complete with foreground cliffs and donkeys, while the Cornwall and Devon studies provide supplementary details of the distant village and coastline. Some sixteen miles off the Devon coast beyond Clovelly, Lundy island is seen to the north-west (see also folios 201 recto and 250 verso; D08726, D08766; CXXIII 198, 247a). The foreground of the watercolour includes details not recorded here, including boats and a pool, perhaps for salting locally caught fish, and the structures on the left are clarified as lime kilns.3 For a lime kiln at Combe Martin, further along Turner’s Devon route, see folio 150 recto (D08646; CXXIII 147).
Wilton 1979, p.354 no.472, reproduced.
Shanes 1981, p.152.
See ibid., p.27.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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