Joseph Mallord William Turner

Land’s End: Looking North to Pedn-mên-du and Cape Cornwall


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 28

Catalogue entry

The viewpoint is the rocky Dr Syntax’s Head at Land’s End, looking north along the cliffs above the Gamper to the Pedn-mên-du headland on the right in the middle distance, with Cape Cornwall and the off-shore Brisons rocks across Whitesand Bay towards the top left. There is a similar view, from a little further east, on folio 29 recto (D41305). The rock high on the left and those in the sea below are seen again at a different angle in the view to the west on folio 23 recto (D08942). 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 noted the subject as ‘Cliffs’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it correctly in his own notes as ‘Near Lands End’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
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) 15.
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 28.
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 ‘near Land’s End?’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘114 | 15’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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