Joseph Mallord William Turner

Launceston from the Polson Bridge on the River Tamar

1814

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 90 x 152 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D09607
Turner Bequest CXXXII 115

Catalogue entry

Polson Bridge is about a mile and a half east of Launceston on the River Tamar. The town’s castle is seen on the skyline to west on the left. The rather makeshift-looking bridge here has since been replaced but the original structure is shown clearly in Joseph Farington’s 1813 engraving Poulton Bridge and Launceston (impression: Government Art Collection, London). Turner recorded the same view in more detail in the contemporary Devonshire Rivers, No. 3, and Wharfedale sketchbook (Tate D09826; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 34), and also a view of the other side of the bridge, looking eastwards up the valley (Tate D09825; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 33).
The bridge is mentioned in a note in the Devon Rivers, No.2 sketchbook (Tate D09732; Turner Bequest CXXXIII 51a).

Matthew Imms
June 2014

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