Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coventry from the North-West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 25 a

Catalogue entry

As Finberg and others have recognised,1 this drawing, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation and continuing on folio 26 recto opposite (D22369), is a source for 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), as is the similar view on folios 26 verso–27 recto (D22370, D22371).
Here the tower of St John the Baptist, Fleet Street, is seen on the left, with the spire of Christchurch beyond to the south-east; there is a more detailed study of the tower at the top right. The tollhouse which appears in the finished design appears in the foreground here. Turner’s viewpoint down Hill Street is in the vicinity of the modern Ringway, which cuts across the street (the old toll road towards Birmingham), and later developments largely obstruct the prospect towards the churches.3 An 1849 painting of Lammas Day, Coventry by David Gee (1793–1872) shows the scene with a busy fair in the open foreground (Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry).
For other Coventry views, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

See Finberg 1909, II, p.739; Wilton 1975, p.123; Shanes 1979, p.156; Wilton 1979, p.399; and Sloan 1998, p.100.
Wilton 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 2 July 2013,

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