Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ludlow Castle from the North-West, with the River Teme in the Foreground


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 229 × 332 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXVIII 11 a

Catalogue entry

Ludlow is dominated by its castle, which dates from the early twelfth century; after Chepstow (see folio 14 recto; D01260; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 11), ‘the largest and best-preserved in the whole of the Welsh Marches’,1 it rises imposingly on a hill in a loop of the River Teme, lending itself naturally to impressive pictorial effects. Finberg mistakenly listed the subject as ‘Chepstow Castle’.2
Turner completed two watercolours using this drawing, in the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California,3 and (a smaller version) in the Barber Institute, Birmingham.4 Another view of Ludlow Castle is on folio 97 recto (D01317; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 63), and the Weir Bridge is shown on folio 98 recto (D01343; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 89).
John Newman and Nikolaus Pevsner, Shropshire, The Buildings of England, revised ed., New Haven and London 2006, p.362.
Finberg 1909, I, p.84.
Wilton 1979, p.329 no.264, reproduced.
Ibid., no.265, reproduced.
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Pope | Mr | Munden’, ‘Ld Essex | Earl of Essex’, and ‘LM’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
It would be interesting to know whether the ‘Mr Munden’ who apparently commissioned a watercolour of the view on the recto of this sheet was Joseph Munden, the celebrated comic actor (1758–1832). ‘Pope’ presumably refers to Alexander Pope the miniature painter (1763–1835), who also commissioned views of Llyn Cwellyn, folio 66 recto (D01351; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 97) and Conwy, folio 81 recto (D01304; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 50a).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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