Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coventry from the North

1830

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 78 × 110 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22345
Turner Bequest CCXL 14

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes confirmed the subject as Coventry,1 in general relation to Turner’s watercolour Coventry of about 1832 (British Museum, London),2 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06105).
The view is similar to that on folio 13 verso opposite (D22344), The juxtaposition of Coventry’s three spires (St Michael’s and Holy Trinity with Christchurch beyond form left to right) indicates a view south to the city, from an area now much changed. The foreground, where there are possibly figures and animals, is probably the banks of the River Sherbourne, long since covered over, and the viewpoint appears to be off Hales Street near Swanswell Pool (see folio 16 recto; D22349), in the vicinity of the complex of slip-roads joining the Whitefriars section of the Ringway flyover.3 The buildings and trees on folio 15 recto (D22347) appear to continue the prospect to the right.
There is a similar sketch on folio 14 recto opposite (D22345) and a view from nearby on folios 16verso–17 recto (D22350, D22351). For other Coventry subjects, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
Shanes 1979, p.156.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
3
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 1 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/covmaps/allmaps.php.

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