Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pendennis Castle and the Entrance of Falmouth Harbour


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 166 × 208 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 27 a

Catalogue entry

From a little further back, to show more of the foreground and with the distant headlands aligned differently, this is a variation on the view on the recto of this leaf (D08905). Along with the latter, Eric Shanes notes the present sketch a source for the watercolour Pendennis Castle, Cornwall, Scene after a Wreck of about 1816 (private collection),1 engraved in 1817 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England2 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction), although the more refined version on the recto probably provided enough information in itself.
Unusually among Turner’s generally linear pencil sketches, the slope below the castle is shaded grey, perhaps to indicate shadow observed at that point or its relative tone. The equivalent part of the recto is painted in watercolour.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.352 no.458, reproduced.
Finberg 1909, I, p.356; see also Wilton 1979, p.352, and Shanes 1981, p.152.
Technical notes:
There is some brown spotting on the page.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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