Joseph Mallord William Turner

?St Mary’s Church, Happisburgh

c.1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 × 118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18228
Turner Bequest CCIX 37

Catalogue entry

This previously unidentified sketch probably shows St Mary’s Church at Happisburgh, a village on the northeast Norfolk coast. Built on Norman foundations, the church was demolished and reconstructed in the fifteenth century.1 To this day the tower of St Mary’s is an important landmark to mariners warning of the position of treacherous sandbanks nearby. Turner has drawn details of the stone tracery decorating one of the windows at top right and on the opposite side of the leaf, details of some moulding. See also Tate D18229–D18233; Turner Bequest CCIX 37a–39a).
Turner produced a vignette design of Happisburgh, entitled Hasboro Sands (Happisburgh is pronounced ‘Haysborough’), for the East Coast publication, though it was never engraved (see general introduction).2

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2015

1
‘St Mary’s Church, Happisburgh Village, accessed 13 April 2015, http://www.happisburgh.org/church
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.405 no.898.

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