Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lyme Regis from the Cobb


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 36

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint is the shore east of the Cobb (Lyme Regis’s harbour), looking north-east towards the town along what is now Marine Parade, with the square tower of St Michael the Archangel’s Church at the centre. The sketch has been described as having a ‘very slight’ relationship1 to Turner’s watercolour Lyme Regis, Dorset of about 1834, for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Cincinnati Art Museum),2 although the view there is in the opposite direction (see the concordance in the introduction to the 1811 West Country tour).
The hills in the background appear to feature again in the drawing on the verso (D08430). There are further views on folios 37 recto and 39 recto (D08431, D08435), while the sketch on folio 41 recto (D08439) informed two subsequent watercolours.
Probably in preparation for his 1811 tour, Turner made a historical note on Lyme Regis from a recent edition of John Feltham’s Guide to All the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places in the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10206; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 1), noting the landing of the Duke of Monmouth at the start of his 1685 rebellion against James II.
Shanes 1979, p.155; see also same author’s J.M.W. Turner: The Foundations of Genius, exhibition catalogue, Taft Museum, Cincinnati 1986, p.60.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.401 no.866, reproduced.
Technical notes:
There is some ink offsetting from the inscription on the opposite page, folio 35 verso (D08428).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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