Joseph Mallord William Turner

Creux Harbour, Sark Island


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 69

Catalogue entry

The sketch that fills this page depicts Creux on the south-east coast of Sark where a small summer harbour had been established. The left-hand side of the page is dominated by the ‘almost perpendicular cliffs which overhang and surround’ this ‘romantic spot’.1 At the base of this large formation the dark mouth of a small tunnel has been included which gave access to the island’s higher ground. Turner has noted the number 1588 just to the left of the tunnel entrance, presumably to record the date of construction inscribed onto this feature.2 The long rectangular form towards the bottom right-hand corner may represent the harbour pier. This tiny bay constitutes one of the volume’s major preoccupations; for a list of these drawings, see the entry for folio 58 recto (D23629; Turner Bequest CCLII 58).

John Chu
April 2014

J.T. Cochrane, A Guide to the Island of Guernsey, St Peter Port 1826, p.139.
Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, London 1831, vol.II, p.262.

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