Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Michael’s Mount and Mount’s Bay from Castle Gate or Castle-an-Dinas


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 142 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 10

Catalogue entry

Turner looks south-east, past St Michael’s Mount in Mount’s Bay to Cudden Point, some six miles in the distance. His viewpoint is high on the Penzance–St Ives road at Castle Gate, south of Nancledra, or further back on the same bearing at the hill fort Castle-an-Dinas, on the summit above the road. Below the headlands is the tower of St Ludgvan and St Paul the Apostle’s Church in Ludgvan. The loose shapes in the foreground may be cattle, reinforced by Turner’s inscription, or his notes may refer in some way to the name of the ancient site. There are views of Penzance from further south on the same road on folios 16 recto and 84 recto (D41291 D41366; CXXV a 16, 84). For other views of the Mount and bay, see under folio 7 recto (D41282).
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject as ‘Distant view of St. Michaels Mount’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell similarly described it in his own notes as ‘Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 32.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 10.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Mounts Bay from Marazion’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘130 | 32’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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