Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dartmouth Castle, St Petrox’s Church and Kingswear Castle


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 3

Catalogue entry

Turner shows Dartmouth Castle and the tower of St Petrox’s Church to the right on the west bank of the Dart Estuary, looking south towards the sea and across to Kingswear Castle on the opposite bank. There is a more distant view on folio 2 verso opposite (D08365). As Eric Shanes has noted, the composition of the watercolour Dartmouth Castle, on the River Dart (Tate D18137; Turner Bequest CCVIII D),1 engraved for the Rivers of England series in 1824, is similar to the present view,2 which may have been combined with the variant on folio 240 recto, at the other end of this sketchbook (D08785; CXXIII 237), where the stonework is treated in more detail.
Turner did not produce a watercolour of the castle alone for Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast, the series of prints which was the main impetus for his 1811 West Country journey (see the introduction to the tour). Instead, it was depicted in one of the smaller engravings in the 1826 edition, Dartmouth Castle, engraved after Samuel Prout in 1825 (Tate impressions: T05388, T05389). Prout’s composition is similar, although he makes the castle more prominent than the church. For Turner’s Dartmouth, Devonshire for the Southern Coast, where the castle appears in the distance, see under folio 106 recto (D08564; CXXIII 103).
Other views in and around Dartmouth and Kingswear are scattered through the sketchbook, on folios 87 recto, 87 verso, 238 verso, 240 verso and 242 recto (D08527, D08528, D08783, D08786, D08788; CXXIII 84, 84a, 235a, 237a, 239), as well as a few views on the River Dart from folio 84 verso (D08522; CXXIII 81a) onwards. There are also two views in the contemporary Corfe to Dartmouth sketchbook (Tate D08856–D08862; Turner Bequest CXXIV 41–47) and more in the later Devon Rivers, No.2 sketchbook (Tate D09730, D09731, D09733–D09744; Turner Bequest CXXXIII 50, 51, 52, 53, 53a, 54, 55, 55a, 56, 57, 57v, 58, 59, 60).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

Wilton 1979, p.385 no.737, reproduced; unspecified ‘[s]tudies of Dartmouth Castle’ in this sketchbook and elsewhere are mentioned.
Shanes 1981, p.152.

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