Joseph Mallord William Turner

Plymouth Citadel and Mount Batten


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 95 × 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 8

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, this eastwards view from below Plymouth Hoe towards the Citadel and the Mount Batten fort is the source for the untraced watercolour Plymouth Citadel of about 1813,1 etched in 1814 and engraved in 1815 for the Rivers of Devon but not published until 1823 (Tate impressions: Tate T06009, T05785; see the concordance of the series in the Introduction to the 1813 tour). The lighting effect on the Citadel in the finished design is taken from the similar view on folio 7 recto (D09224), under which the subject is discussed further. The drawings made nearby on folios 9 recto and 10 recto (D09225) were used for a companion Rivers of Devon design showing Plymouth Sound.
The subjects as far as folio 127 recto (D09358) are all identified or presumed sites within a few miles in and around Plymouth, suggesting a series of fairly short excursions.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.350 no.440, under which unspecified ‘drawings of ... the Citadel’ in this sketchbook ‘probably used for’ no.440 are mentioned.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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