Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Robin Hood’s Bay, Huntecliffe and Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 86

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the left are two sketches on the North Yorkshire coast and a series of sketches of and near Bamburgh Castle on the Northamptonshire coast. The sketch at the top of the page is identifiable as Robin Hood’s Bay from a sketch inscribed as such on folio 3 verso (D17513). Beneath this is a sketch of ‘Huntecliff’ and Saltburn-by-the-Sea, which are just west along the North Yorkshire Coast from Redcar and the mouth of the ‘Tees’. There are further sketches of this view and nearby coastlines on folios 83 and 83 verso (D17654, D17655).
As the inscriptions indicate, the third sketch shows ‘Bamboro’ (Bamburgh) Castle and ‘Lindisfarne’ (or Holy Island) to its north-west from the south. Both subjects were by now familiar to Turner, having sketched them on his way to and from Edinburgh by sea (folios 4 verso, 82 and 82 verso; D17515, D17652, D17653). Beneath this is another sketch of Bamburgh, this time from the north with Harkness rocks at the right.
There follow two sketches of islands. The island at the right of the fifth sketch seems to be the same as the one below which is inscribed ‘Farne Islands’. This particular island, the nearest to the mainland, is called the Inner Farne, and has a lighthouse on its south-east corner, The second sketch also shows the mainland at the left with Bamburgh Castle and several of the other Farne Islands, probably the West and East Wideopens. At the bottom of the page is a final sketch of Bamburgh Castle, this time from the north-east. There is a similar sketch at the bottom of folio 87 (D17662).

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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