Joseph Mallord William Turner

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

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 166 x 208 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08879
Turner Bequest CXXV 12

Catalogue entry

The composition spans the whole of this page, extending left to the first third of folio 12 verso opposite (D08878; CXXV 11a), with a narrow continuation to the right on folio 14 recto (D08880; CXXV 13). The overall view of the tower at Mount Batten with Plymouth’s Citadel, the tower of St Andrew’s Church and the spire of the Charles Church can still be seen (albeit interspersed with tower blocks) from Lawrence Road, west of Turnchapel, overlooking the harbour at Clovelly Bay and the Cattewater.
Finberg notes that the triple-page sketch is the basis of the watercolour Plymouth, with Mount Batten of about 1816 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London),1 engraved in 1817 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England2 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). In fact, the right-hand continuation was not incorporated into the finished composition. Eric Shanes has noted that the sketch also informs the watercolour Plymouth of about 1825 (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon),3 engraved in 1828 for the The Rivers of England, but not published until 1856 in The Harbours of England.4 There the wooded foreground is omitted and the scene is effectively viewed from the beach recorded in the middle distance of the sketch.
This is one of a series of sketches of Plymouth and nearby districts, running from folio 3 recto (D08866; CXXV 2) to folio 14 recto (D08880; CXXV 13); see the entry for the first of these for other Plymouth views.
1
Wilton 1979, p.352 no.457, reproduced.
2
Finberg 1909, I, p.354; see also Wilton 1979, p.457, Shanes 1981, p.152, and Shanes 1997 p.91 note 2 under no.27.
3
Wilton 1979, p.388 no.760, reproduced.
4
Shanes 1981, p.152.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
February 2011

Read full Catalogue entry

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