Joseph Mallord William Turner

Stonehenge from the South, with the Heel Stone Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 180 x 222 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV b 11

Catalogue entry

The main circle is seen fairly close from about due south, with the Heel Stone, about sixty metres to the north-east, just inside the right-hand edge of the sketch. The steeply leaning stone on the left of the central sarsen ‘horseshoe’ has since been set upright, and a fallen trilithon to the north of the single stone re-erected.
Stonehenge is shown from an almost identical viewpoint in a vigorous pen and chalk drawing on blue paper in the Studies for Pictures sketchbook, in use roughly a decade earlier (Tate D04092; Turner Bequest LXIX 80a). There is a closer view from this side in the smaller Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook, also used on the 1811 visit (Tate D08750; Turner Bequest CXXIII 212). Folios 9 recto–15 recto (D41382–D41388) of the present sketchbook all show Stonehenge; for Turner’s other views of the monument, see the introduction.
As discussed there, the pages 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 ‘Stonehenge’ in a manuscript list,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Stonehenge, nearer view’.2 Figures corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of each sheet.
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.357, as CXXV(b) 6.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356C, as CXXVB 11.
Technical notes:
The sheet is wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘109 | 6’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
May 2010

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