Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peak Cavern, Castleton, with the River Styx; Peveril Castle from the West and South

?1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 191 × 114 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22219
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 37 a

Catalogue entry

There are four sketches here, made with the page turned vertically and divided by horizontal pencil lines. Ian Warrell’s suggestion that the upper two show Peak Cavern1 (below Peveril Castle at Castleton, seen on adjacent pages) is supported by the inscription ‘Styx’, which is the name of the underground river flowing through the cavern,2 presumably after the Underworld river in Greek mythology.
Warrell has confirmed Finberg’s suggestion that the third view shows Castleton, with Peveril Castle, from the west;3 it is apparently inscribed with a note of the road to Chapel-en-le-Frith in that direction. The bottom view shows the castle from the south along Cave Dale. For other views of the castle, village and cave, see under folio 1 verso (D22152).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

1
Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.
2
See ‘Peak Cavern – (The Devil’s Arse)’, Castleton: Peak District National Park, accessed 9 October 2013, http://www.castleton.co.uk/caverns/peak_cavern.aspx.
3
Warrell 1993 and later.

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