Joseph Mallord William Turner

Landscape Composition with a Ruined Castle on a Cliff


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 214 × 273 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXIII Q

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This is an exercise in a generalised and idealised kind of landscape, rather than a representation of a particular place. This sort of rugged coastal scene had been a specialism of Phillip James de Loutherbourg, a successful landscape painter of the older generation. A work by him can be seen in room C3.

Although this is an invented, rather than actual, location Turner uses the same components – jagged rocks, crashing waves, wind-tossed boat – in paintings of particular places in Britain.

Gallery label, September 2004

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