Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on the Beach at Teignmouth


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 68 a

Catalogue entry

The shapes on the left appear to be horses or donkeys with panniers by a beached boat. There are about ten figures gathered on the right but their identities and activities are unclear.
Teignmouth, on the Devon coast between Exmouth and Torquay, is mentioned in Turner’s poetry on folio 164 verso (Tate D08670; Turner Bequest CXXIII 161a). For further views, some less certainly identified than others, see folio 72 recto opposite (D08500; CXXIII 69), and folios 72 verso, 75 verso, 87 verso, 89 recto, 91 recto and verso, 92 recto and 242 verso (D08501, D08507, D08528, D08531, D08535–D08537, D08789; CXXIII 69a, 72a, 84a, 86, 88, 88a, 89, 239v).
Probably in preparation for his 1811 tour, Turner made historical and architectural notes on Teignmouth and its surroundings from a recent edition of John Feltham’s Guide to All the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places in the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10206; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 1).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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