Joseph Mallord William Turner

Plymouth: The Charles Church, St Andrew’s Church and the Citadel

1813

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 95 x 157 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D09292
Turner Bequest CXXXI 69

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, this view over Plymouth from North Hill shows the spire of the Charles Church and the tower of St Andrew’s, with the profile of the Citadel to the left, and Mount Edgcumbe and Penlee Point in the distance across Plymouth Sound to the south-west. 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.
Sam Smiles has observed definite or possible links between three drawings and oil sketches in the Turner Bequest showing ‘the same locations, though not from identical viewpoints’,1 presumably made on the same occasions in 1813 (see the Introduction to the sketchbook). He notes that the present view ‘seems to bear some relationship’ to the oil study (Tate D09214; Turner Bequest CXXX H) described by Finberg as ‘A distant town;2 its current title, Plymouth from the North, is that given by Butlin and Joll at Smiles’s suggestion.3 Smiles places the viewpoint of the oil sketch4 in ‘either the grounds of Greenbank House or Freedom Fields’,5 a quarter of a mile from North Hill Cottage, where Turner stayed in 1813 with local artist Ambrose Johns6 (for whom see the Introduction to the tour).
1
Smiles 1989, p.11.
2
Finberg 1909, I, p.365.
3
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.133 no.220, pl.221.
4
Smiles 1989, pp.16–17 no.4.
5
Ibid., p.17.
6
Ibid., p.16.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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