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).
- townscapes / man-made features(21,710)
- townscape, distant(8,119)