Joseph Mallord William Turner

Plymouth: The 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 x 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 140 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, Turner looks south from a rural viewpoint with the tower at Mount Batten through the trees to the left, the Citadel above the Barbican to the right, and Penlee Point beyond Mount Edgcumbe in the distance to the south-west on the right. George Townsend’s 1853 engraving Plymouth – from Greenbank (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter) is comparable. There are similar views on folios 228 verso and 230 verso (D09382, D09386; Turner Bequest CXXXI 139a, 141a).
This drawing may be the penultimate one in a continuous sequence working in from the back cover of the sketchbook, which correlates with accounts of a voyage Turner and others made from Plymouth south-east to Burgh Island, returning by land from Kingsbridge (see folio 252 verso; D09430; Turner Bequest CXXXI 163a) towards Plymouth. The sequence begins on folio 275 (D09476; Turner Bequest CXXXI 186a), under which the overall trip is discussed, and may extend as far as D09382.
Technical notes:
There is a dark brown stain towards the bottom left.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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