Joseph Mallord William Turner

Land’s End: Longships Lighthouse from Carn Greeb


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 27

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes has noted that this sketch, looking west from around Carn Greeb, is the basis for the much later watercolour Longships Lighthouse, Land’s End of about 1835 (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles),1 engraved in 1836 for the series Picturesque Views in England and Wales.2 The cross on the skyline, perhaps a signals mast, is seen from the opposite direction on folio 66 recto (D41348). For other views at and around Land’s End, see under folio 22 recto (D08941; CXXV 50, bound as CXXV a 22).
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently mistakenly noted the subject as ‘Cliffs with St. Michaels Mount in dist.’ in a manuscript listing,3 while C.F. Bell described it correctly in his own notes as ‘Lands End and Longships Lighthouse’.4 Figures differing from Bell’s sequence are inscribed on the verso of most sheets; they usually correspond with the pagination given in Finberg’s MS catalogue, but here and in a few other cases the numbers do not match, so a tentative connection has been made on the basis of Finberg’s descriptive title.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.401 no.864, reproduced.
Shanes 1979, p.155; see also Shanes, Joll, Warrell and others 2000, p.215.
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 6.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 27.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Land’s End & Longships Lighthouse’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘104 r. h.’ and ‘no from | centre of | mount. | E.F.’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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