Joseph Mallord William Turner

Teignmouth from Ringmore, with a Vessel under Construction

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 170 x 209 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08851
Turner Bequest CXXIV 36

Catalogue entry

Arthur Ebdon identifies the location as the Strand at Ringmore, upstream to the west across the River Teign from Teignmouth, and notes that sixty-eight vessels were constructed in the Teignmouth area during the Napoleonic Wars.1 Shaldon Bridge now crosses at about the point where boats are shown beached on the mud flats. There is a view of the same boatyard looking inland on folio 35 verso (D08850).
This page was recorded by Finberg as if it were a recto (without the ‘a’ suffix by which he usually indicates a verso), but the drawing he describes is bound as the verso of the sheet and the ‘recto’ is blank except for Ruskin’s number. However, Finberg brackets this page with folio 37 recto opposite (D08852); they form a continuous composition, but although he recognised this relationship it is unclear whether they were then bound together as they are now. He notes that the double-page sketch is the basis for the watercolour Teignmouth, Devonshire of about 1813 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven),2 engraved in 1815 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England3 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction).
Presumably on the same occasion, Turner also made a less detailed, laterally compressed sketch in the Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D08789; Turner Bequest CXXIII 239v). Finberg also noted Turner’s use of the present drawing4 for the oil painting Teignmouth, which he exhibited at his gallery in 1812 (Tate T03882; displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex).5 In both the watercolour and the oil, the full extent of the left-hand (present) page was transcribed, but only a little of the wooded shoreline shown on folio 37 recto was used.
1
Ebdon 2005, pp.5, 14.
2
Wilton 1979, p.351 no.452, reproduced.
3
Finberg 1909, I, p.354; see also White 1977, p.75; Wilton 1979, p.351; Shanes 1981, p.152, and 1990, pp.47 under no.24, 283 note 24; and Hawes 1982, p.131.
4
Finberg 1909, I, p.354; see also Joll and Butlin 1982, p.101, and Butlin and Joll 1984, p.85.
5
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.85 no.120, pl.127 (colour).
Technical notes:
Significant losses to the top right corner have been replaced. A crease runs for the height of the page towards the left, and the page is darkened outwards to the edge. This corresponds with darkening to the right-hand edge of the opposite page, as though the latter had been exposed for some time to light or dust. This may relate to Turner’s use of the drawing as the basis of his Petworth painting.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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