Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cockermouth Castle: the North Curtain Walls from across the River Derwent


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 229 × 374 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CIX 14

Catalogue entry

For Cockermouth Castle and views from this sketchbook see Introduction. The view here is from the north, with the outer gatehouse at left, the kitchen tower at centre and the round (archers’) tower at right. The Lands lie on the left back of the Derwent, which fills the foreground while the River Cocker runs to the far right. This is the most distant of Turner’s views from this angle. Finberg identified it as the study for Turner’s painting Cockermouth Castle (Tate T0387; displayed at Petworth House),1 exhibited at Turner’s Gallery in 1810. In fact, D07536; Turner Bequest CIX 24 from the same sketchbook is much closer to the picture, as Butlin and Joll point out. However, there are similarities here too, and Turner draws attention to laundry being washed in the river, a feature he adopted in the picture.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.77 no.108 (pl.115).
Laid down. Finberg suspected there was another drawing on the verso, then ‘stuck on cartridge’, but none has been found during recent conservation treatment.

David Blayney Brown
August 2009

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