after Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Eddystone Lighthouse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Mezzotint on paper
Image: 210 × 312 mm
Purchased 1986

Catalogue entry

T04820 The Eddystone Lighthouse, from ‘Marine Views’ engr. T. Lupton, pub.1824

Mezzotint 210 × 313 (8 1/4 × 12 5/16) on laid paper 338 × 490 (13 5/16 × 19 5/16); plate-mark 266 × 360 (10 1/2 × 14 3/16); watermark ‘DUPUY AUVERGNE’
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Drawn by J.M.W. Turner Esq.r R.A.’ below image b.l., ‘Engraved on Steel by Tho.s Lupton.’ below image b.r., ‘THE EDYSTONE LIGHT HOUSE. | PLATE I. OF A SERIES OF MARINE VIEWS, BY J.M.W. TURNER, R.A. PUBLISHING SINGLY. | London, Published March 1, by W.B. Cooke, 9 Soho Square.’ below image at centre
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Exh: Tate Gallery 1989–90 (43, repr.)
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.771, third state; Lyles and Perkins 1989, pp.54–5, no.43, repr.

As the engraved lettering indicates, ‘Eddystone Light-house’ was the first in a projected series of prints after designs by Turner featuring marine views which were to be published by W.B. Cooke individually, at intervals. An advertisement stitched into an intact copy of part four of The Rivers of England (private collection, probably issued in 1825), which Cooke was also publishing at this date (see under T04790-T04819 above), includes the print amongst his list of engravings for sale; it is described as ‘The Edystone Light-House, represented in a STORM at NIGHT, by J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Prints 10s - proofs 15s - India paper proofs 18s’.

The same part number of The Rivers of England also has an advertisement promising that ‘A companion print to the Edystone is now being engraved, and will appear in spring of 1825, A Sun-rise - Whiting Fishing at Margate, from a splendid Drawing by J M W Turner R A, and engraved in Mezzotinto on steel’. This print, also engraved by Thomas Lupton, did indeed appear in 1825 (Rawlinson II 1913, no.774) and is the only other certainly documented print made for Marine Views (an impression was acquired by the Tate Gallery in 1992, T06655, and will be catalogued at a future date); an advertisement in part five of The Rivers of England (private collection, probably issued in the latter half of 1825) advertises the two prints as ‘published in a folio, to protect them from damage’, and prices are given for the pair as follows; prints £1. 5s., proofs £1. 15s., and India paper proofs £2. 2s. However, Shanes has suggested that a mezzotint by Lupton of Folkestone (Rawlinson II 1913, no.798), although never published in Turner's lifetime, was also intended for the series (Turner's Rivers, Harbours and Coasts, 1981, p.48, pl.116), and this view is supported here (see also under T05197).

If, as seems likely, it was intended that Lupton alone should engrave Marine Views, then the fact that no print for the series was issued in 1826 can probably be explained by the fact that he was busy that year engraving views for The Rivers of England and, especially, for The Ports of England (see under T04790-T04819 above and T04822-T04837 below). The project as a whole presumably foundered in 1827 as a result of Turner's quarrel with Cooke (discussed under T04370-T04427 above); many other collaborations between the two men were also abandoned at that time. Wilton suggests that, in addition to Turner's preparatory watercolours for Eddystone (Wilton 1979, no.506, untraced), Margate (ibid., no.507), and perhaps for Folkestone (ibid., no.509), four other marine watercolours by him may have been destined for the project as well (ibid., nos.508, 510–12); Shanes adds a further possible two, one of which seems plausible (Turner's England, 1990, no.96), the other (no.99) less so.

Rawlinson lists three later reprints of ‘The Eddystone Lighthouse’: the first, in brown ink, probably dating from shortly after Turner's death (an impression in a private collection is annotated as having been in the collection of John Dillon, who at one stage owned the preliminary watercolour; see Wilton 1979, no.506); a second, about 1890, in which all lettering except the artists' names was removed; and a third, still later reprint, of which ‘many very inferior impressions’ were issued by a Scottish publisher. This cataloguer has also seen an impression of the engraving ‘printed by Chatfield and Coleman’, which may conceivably correspond with Rawlinson's third reprint.

A reduced version of the Eddystone Lighthouse mezzotint, also engraved by Lupton, was published in 1829 (Rawlinson II 1913, no.773), together with a reduced version of Margate (ibid., no.774).

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996


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