Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peak District Views near Buxton, Including Ashwood Dale and Lovers’ Leap


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 191 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 52 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there appear to be seven separate sketches here, divided by pencil lines: two at the top left and right, one occupying most of the central register with two to the right, one above the other, and a wide view at the bottom with a smaller study at its upper right.
The top two probably show opposite views north and south within the short ravine known as Lovers’ Leap, with its (water-)‘Fall’, opening onto Ashwood Dale, south-east of Buxton. The road east to Bakewell (see under folio 30 verso; D22205) and the River Wye run side-by-side through Ashwood Dale, itself a narrow gorge. Woodland now hides much of the rock, making Turner’s exact viewpoints difficult to determine. The three views across the middle of the page, one labelled ‘L Leap’, are presumably in the vicinity, along with the more open views with crags above a wider valley below.
There are similar studies on folio 53 recto opposite (D22247), apparently including Lovers’ Leap. There are views in and around the spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire (set within the Peak District but not actually part of it) on folios the recto of this leaf, 53 recto opposite, 53 verso, 54 verso, 56 recto and verso, and 58 recto and verso (D22245, D22247, D22248, D22250, D22253, D22254, D22257, D22258).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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