Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mayburgh Henge, Eamont Bridge, Penrith

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25810
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 25 a

Catalogue entry

This view of Mayburgh Henge from the south, continued on folio 26 (D25811), brings us closer to the standing stone than the drawing on folios 26 verso–27 (D25812–D25813), which was the basis for Turner’s design for the vignette illustration to volume 11 (The Bridal of Triermain) of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works: Mayburgh circa 1832 (whereabouts unknown).1 Unlike that sketch, however, this version includes the distance building above the trees at the left which may be Penrith Castle, lifted even higher in the final design.
The current page shows the western half of the henge, with the standing stone at the far right and the circular mound surrounding the site (which Turner must have stood on) at the bottom left and then behind the stone. At the top right of the page is a slight continuation of a sketch of the distant Cumbrian mountains from folio 26.
See folio 26 verso (D25812) for more information and references to further sketches of Mayburgh.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.429 no.1091.

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