Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Coast towards Bull Point and Lundy from the Torrs, near Ilfracombe

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 141 × 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41343
Turner Bequest CXXV a 61 a

Catalogue entry

From the cliffs of the Torrs, west of Ilfracombe, Turner looks across Bull Point and the Bristol Channel to Lundy Island, on the horizon over twenty miles to the west. There is a similar view on folio 76 recto (D41358) and a sketch from further east on folio 77 recto (D41359). On the recto (D41342) is a view in the opposite direction, towards Ilfracombe; see under folio 37 recto (D41314) for other Ilfracombe drawings.
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets. They are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although subsequently, not recognising the subject, he transcribed Turner’s scrawled main inscription as ‘“Do.”’ in a manuscript listing1 (i.e. ‘Ditto’, sometimes used by Turner to refer to a topographical inscription on a preceding sheet). In his own notes, C.F. Bell described the subject as ‘Precipitous sea-coast’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
1
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.356, as CXXV(a) 67 Reverse.
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B, as CXXVa 61a.
Technical notes:
The sheet has been creased at the bottom edge and is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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