Joseph Mallord William Turner

Penzance and Mount’s Bay from Quarry Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 142 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 84

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint is on the Penzance–St Ives road, between the Quarry Hill and School Lane turnings for Gulval, although today various tree-lined stretches on this twisting section make the precise spot difficult to judge. The road descends in the foreground; to the south-west is the spire of St Mary’s Chapel (later replaced by the tower of St Mary’s Church), and the coast as far as Penlee Point beyond. There is a similar sketch from further up the hill with a little more detail in the distance on folio 16 recto (D41291), and a distant prospect of St Michael’s Mount from further north on the same road on folio 10 recto (D41285). For other views of Penzance, see under folio 6 recto (D41281).
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject correctly as ‘Penzance’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Undulating country, sea-shore on left’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 34.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356C, as CXXVa 84.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘132 | 34’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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