Joseph Mallord William Turner

Otley and Wharfedale from Caley Park


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 184 × 226 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLIV J

Catalogue entry

This is a view from near Caley Crags at the east end of Otley Chevin, looking west up Wharfedale to the Cow and Calf Rocks above Ilkley in the centre distance, with ‘Denton’ Hall indicated in the right distance. The town of Otley occupies the valley floor below to the right, but only the church tower is clearly indicated in the sketch. Turner drew another view of similar material (Tate D12104; Turner Bequest CLIV F), from a slightly lower viewpoint and further back to bring the crags into the composition more prominently. It is not clear what relationship the two sketches might have to one another. Farnley Hall, the Yorkshire home of Turner’s patron Walter Fawkes, faces Caley Crags from across the River Wharfe out of the present field of view to the right. Turner appears to have made numerous excursions from there to Caley Park.
The paper has an unevenly cut lower edge, but the remaining edges are even, indicating that the folio might have been detached from a sketchbook. The paper is an unusual one, however, with its greyish tinge. The style of the drawing seems quite early, and it may date to one of Turner’s early visits to Farnley from 1808 onwards, but there is nothing to aid greater precision.

David Hill
July 2009

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