Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mill Gill Fall, near Askrigg


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 17 a

Catalogue entry

This is the left and main part of a double-page spread, continued to the right on folio 34 recto (D11552; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 18), which however is not now bound alongside. The spread records a view of Mill Gill Fall, near Askrigg in Wensleydale. Turner also sketched Mill Gill Fall from a slightly more distant viewpoint in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11290–D11291; Turner Bequest CXLV 145a–146). The present drawing, however, is larger, more detailed and more painstaking and served as the basis of a studio colour study (Tate D25255; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 133). This was made in preparation for a finished watercolour for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s General History of the County of York (see general introduction) but no finished watercolour appears to have been completed. The present writer dates Turner’s sketches of Mill Gill to Friday 26 July 1816.
In the present binding of the sketchbook this page is inverted in relation to the main sequence and mistakenly aligned with a blank page opposite (folio 36 verso, not accessioned; verso of D11556; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 20). The correct association with D11552 was recognised by Finberg and it is not obvious why it was not adopted, or he was overruled, when the book was reconstituted. A fairly comprehensive reordering of this part of the book appears to be required. For further comment see notes to folio 33 verso (D11576; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 31a).

David Hill
May 2009

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