Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant Hills, Possibly between Gunnislake and Plymouth


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 88 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXV 21

Catalogue entry

This drawing is a continuation from the previous double-page view on folios 19 verso–20 recto (D09920, D09921). Turner drew back the previous leaf until it was almost folded in half to continue the horizontal features of the panoramic landscape from folio 20 recto onto the right-hand side of the present page. The lack of landmarks makes the subject difficult to confirm, but it may relate to the succession of hills looking south towards Plymouth from Gunnislake in the background of Turner’s large painting Crossing the Brook, exhibited in 1815 (Tate N00497).1 There is a sketch of similar terrain, directly related to that part of the painting, in the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10274; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 48). For further discussion of various landscape and tree studies in this sketchbook in that context, see under folio 14 recto (D09910).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.93–4 no.130, pl.123 (colour).
Technical notes:
A small, ringed spot of foxing to the right of centre shows through from the verso (Tate D09923; Turner Bequest CXXXV 21a).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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