Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ivy Bridge, Devonshire

c.1814–15

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 280 x 408 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18157
Turner Bequest CCVIII X

Display caption

Turner had visited Ivy Bridge, near Plymouth, in 1811. He returned two years later, when he made the sketches that were used as the basis for this watercolour. He was visiting Devon because he had been commissioned to take views for a series of prints called Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England.

This study seems remarkably naturalistic. However, a poem Turner wrote about his journey made it clear that for him the scenery evoked patriotic reflections on morality and history.

Gallery label, August 2004

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