Joseph Mallord William Turner

Panorama of the Kent Estuary from Near Milnthorpe

1816

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 125 × 206 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11500
Turner Bequest CXLVII 36

Catalogue entry

This is the first of a sequence of sketches of the shores of Morecambe Bay and its northern margins as far as Ulverston, spread across each of the three sketchbooks, including Yorkshire 2 and Yorkshire 5 (Tate D11042–D11371; D40844–D40845; D41443; Turner Bequest CXLV and Tate D11518–D11595; D40860–D40862; Turner Bequest CXLVIII) that Turner used concurrently on his tour of the north of England in 1816.
Here, Turner records two panoramas of the estuary of the River Kent as seen from the shore about half a mile west of Milnthorpe. Milnthorpe is about five miles south of Kendal, and one and a half miles south of Levens Bridge, the last bridge over the Kent. The main sketch (centre) looks north-west with Whitbarrow Scar in the centre marked by a ‘W’, no doubt to indicate its conspicuous expanse of white limestone. To the left are the high peaks of the Coniston Old Man group and to the right (from left to right) the peaks of Fairfield, Kirkstone Fell and the High Street group, all more than fifteen miles distant. The latter stand above the head of the Kent, the subject of folio 35 recto (D11498). To the right is a squat tower, possibly a lighthouse, and in the foreground on the sands a group of figures is at work, possibly gathering cockles, still an important activity today.
A second sketch, above, continued on folio 35 verso opposite (D11499) records the view south-west across Milnthorpe Sands towards the mouth of the Kent, with Arnside Knott to the left, and the fells above Grange and Lindale towards the right.
The viewpoint is immediately north of Dallam Tower, the subject of a sketch in the Yorkshire 5 sketchbook (Tate D11595–D11529; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 42–6), which records the same material in the distance as the main sketch here. Similar subjects also occur in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11044, D11043, D41443; Turner Bequest CXLV 2, 1a, inside front cover).
At the far left of the sheet Turner has drawn a clump of trees and a few other pencil lines continuing the sketch of the Crook of Lune on D11499.

David Hill
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like