Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Peter Port, Guernsey


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 83

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the drawings scattered across this page record sites in and around St Peter Port on the east coast of Guernsey. In the top left-hand corner, the sketch of a distant land-mass is consistent with the profile of Sark Island as seen from the harbour. Immediately beneath this is an apparently continuous view south across the port, from the island fortress of Castle Cornet on the right-hand side of the page, past a conical lighthouse, and up to Fort St George perched on the hills that surround the bay.1 For the recurrence of this complex of defences in the sketchbook, see the entry for folio 29 verso (D23575; Turner Bequest CCLII 29a). The dark scratchy marks immediately beneath Fort St George depict a draft animal pulling a cart towards the right-hand edge of the page. The loosely drawn forms in the lower right-hand quadrant are indistinct, although their regularity and mass suggest a defensive structure.

John Chu
April 2014

See Bryan Hugh St. John O’Neil, The History of Castle Cornet, Guernsey, Guernsey 1981; also, J.T. Cochrane, A Guide to the Island of Guernsey, St Peter Port 1826, pp.66–7.

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