Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dudley from the South-East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 62

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, Dudley Castle is seen across open ground from the south-east, with the outline of the tower of St Edmund’s Church below it towards the left and the spire of St Thomas’s very lightly indicated at the extreme left beyond a conical chimney. Modern developments make the viewpoint difficult to establish, but a sense of the view is possible from around Watsons Green Road and Wolverton Road on Kates Hill, overlooking Dudley’s Southern Bypass. There are similar views on folio 63 verso opposite (D22094; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 61a) and on subsequent pages.
Frank Milner notes that this drawing and those on folio 65 recto (D22097; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 63) show that Turner ‘while sketching on the spot did not conceive Dudley as an industrial subject’, but used a ‘rural Claudian formula’ with a ‘centralised promontory ... above a valley with lollipop-like trees balancing to left and right’1 to evoke the idealised manner of Claude Lorrain (1604/5–1682), whom Turner so admired and so often emulated.2
For other views of Dudley see under folio 23 recto (D22016).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Milner 1990, p.63.
See Butlin 1975, p.48, and Wilton 1975, p.66; and in general Ian Warrell and others, Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London 2012.

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