Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Ships Towed by Rowing Boats in the Avon Gorge

1798

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 284 × 457 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01658
Turner Bequest XLI 26 a

Catalogue entry

The identification of this subject in the Third Loan Collection list as ‘Dartmouth’ is inexplicable, given its close association with other studies of shipping in the present sketchbook, which are probably related to drawings in the contemporary Swans sketchbook (Tate D01697–D01704; Turner Bequest XLII 22–29) showing ships in Bristol harbour. See the entry for D01656 (Turner Bequest XLI 25). Here too the setting is probably the Avon Gorge, between Bristol and the Severn estuary; but see D01661 (Turner Bequest XLI 28a).
Finberg numbered this page twice, correcting himself in the course of compiling his 1909 Inventory but leaving a redundant entry for Turner Bequest ‘34’, cross-referenced to XLI 26a.1 When Tate accession numbers were assigned, the spurious entry was designated D01667; that number has since been cancelled.
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.99.
Technical notes:
The paper is discoloured, and stained at the right edge. Although this drawing makes use of relatively little colour with its grey and brown washes, it is evident that it has suffered from exposure to light, and that was indeed the reason for its withdrawal from the Loan Collection in September 1905.1
1
See ibid., p.98.
Verso:
Blank; not stamped.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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