Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grasmere, Looking North towards Helm Crag


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 274 × 370 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXV 33

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, Turner’s viewpoint here is somewhere on the western shore of Grasmere Lake, looking north towards the village of Grasmere, with the eminence of Helm Crag behind it. Beyond, hidden by low cloud, is Helvellyn, which Turner had passed on his journey down the Vale of St John from Keswick; see the preceding leaf, folio 45 recto (D01034; Turner Bequest XXXV 32). To the right are the slopes of Greatrigg Man and Rydal Fell. Dove Cottage, which was to become Wordsworth’s home at the end of this year, stands close to the edge of the lake at the foot of Rydal Fall, just out of the range of Turner’s view.
Turner scholar David Hill notes that the Red Lion Hotel at Grasmere offered its guests the use of a boat, and suggests that the rowing-boat in the foreground was Turner’s means of transport from the village to this relatively remote spot. A rowing-boat is shown in the middle of the lake in another view taken from close by, on the following leaf, folio 47 recto (D01089; Turner Bequest XXXV 87).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by John Ruskin in brown ink ‘105’ (circled); ?in a later hand in blue crayon ‘17’; and by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.33’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop