Joseph Mallord William Turner

Stonehenge: The Inner Sarsen ‘Horseshoe’ from the West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 182 x 222 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV b 13

Catalogue entry

The conspicuous leaning stone, once one upright of a trilithon in the inner ‘horseshoe’, has since been restored to the vertical, while the large stones lying to its left have been re-erected to reconstruct another of the inner trilithons, as the counterpart to the one shown here on the right. The fallen stones can be seen in an 1853 photograph by Sedgfield, taken from a similar viewpoint.1 There is a closer view of the stones on the right from a similar angle in the Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook, used on the same occasion (Tate D08751; Turner Bequest CXXIII 212a).
Folios 9 recto–15 recto (D41382–D41388) all show Stonehenge; for Turner’s other views of the monument, see the introduction to the ‘sketchbook’. 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,2 while C.F. Bell gave it the same title in his own notes.3 Figures corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of each sheet.
Christopher Chippindale, ‘Stonehenge Observed’ in Visions of Stonehenge 1350–1987, exhibition catalogue, Southampton City Art Gallery 1987, pl.55.
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) 3.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356D, as CXXVB 13.
Technical notes:
The sheet is wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp. There are glue stains at the corners, showing through from the verso.
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘207 | 3’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
May 2010

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