Joseph Mallord William Turner

Forder Lake and the St Germans or Lynher River from below Trematon Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 95 × 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 42

Catalogue entry

The sketches between folio 36 recto (D09255) and folio 43 recto (D09263) were made in the vicinity of Trematon Castle, above the St Germans or Lynher River west of the River Tamar and Plymouth. The subjects as far as folio 127 recto (D09358) are all identified or presumed sites within a few miles in and around Plymouth, suggesting a series of fairly short excursions. As noted in this sketchbook’s Introduction, local resident Mr Charles Nodder has used his knowledge of the area around Trematon Castle to write a privately circulated article discussing the relevant drawings in this sketchbook, after inspecting and discussing them with the present author,1 who is very grateful for his comments: he identifies the buildings here, drawn with the page turned horizontally, as Antony Passage tide mill and adjacent cottages, and suggests that towards the left is ‘the old quay on Passage Point, where sometimes the ferry landed. Today only a couple of posts at the river’s edge remain’.2
There are related sketches from higher viewpoints on folios 39 recto, 40 recto and 41 recto (D09258–D09260). Turner’s watercolour Trematon Castle, Cornwall of about 1828 (currently untraced),3 was engraved in 1830 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04563, T04564). The serene finished composition is actually somewhat confused, in that it appears to conflate and adapt sketches made in opposite directions, with the left-hand side based on folio 43 recto (D09263), looking north up Forder Lake to the castle, and the right taken from the present work, looking south down the lake from near the castle.4
There is a brief upwards continuation of the treetops to the right on folio 41 verso opposite (D09261).
Conversation, 27 October 2010.
Charles Nodder, ‘JMW Turner’s Views around Antony Passage’, unpublished article, 2010, Tate catalogue files, p.4.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.396 no.822.
See also Nodder 2010, p.5.
Technical notes:
There is a slight stain coinciding with the foliage in the centre.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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