Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bridge between East and West Looe


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 166 × 208 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 14

Catalogue entry

The medieval bridge, since replaced, is seen to the south from the west bank of the River Looe. East Looe is to the left, with the low, castellated tower of St Martin’s Church, and West Looe to the right, with the tall, narrow tower of St Nicholas’s. Apart from additional buildings on the hillsides the view remains much the same today.
Following the last of a sequence of Plymouth views on folio 14 recto (Tate D08880; Turner Bequest CXXV 13), Turner travelled west along the Cornish coast. This is the first of four drawings of Looe; see also folios 16 verso, 17 verso and 18 verso (D08883, D08885, D08887; CXXV 15a, 16a, 17a). There are also studies in the contemporary Devonshire Coast, No.1 sketchbook (between Tate D08580 and D08588; Turner Bequest CXXIII 111a, 115a; and Tate D08614; Turner Bequest CXXIII 129a).
Technical notes:
There is a dark stain at the top centre and light brown spotting elsewhere. There is a closed tear across sky from the middle to the right-hand edge, presumably the reason for the whole leaf being stuck down on a sheet of slightly rougher wove paper, attached to a narrow stub. There is slight brown mottling to the verso of the blank backing sheet.
Blank (being the verso of a sheet on which the accessioned drawing is laid down, as described in the technical notes above).

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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