Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Fowey and Polruan Blockhouses and St Catherine’s Castle from the Fowey Side

1811

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08393
Turner Bequest CXXIII 17

Catalogue entry

This view of the Fowey and Polruan blockhouses, built as a pair in about 1380 so that a chain could be raised between them to prevent hostile shipping entering Fowey Harbour,1 was made a little to the north of that on the folio 16 verso opposite (D08392). Looking south to the sea beyond the Fowey Estuary, Turner also includes the outline of St Catherine’s Castle in the distance on the right.
A more detailed study from nearby in the contemporary Ivy Bridge to Penzance sketchbook (Tate D08889, D08890; Turner Bequest CXXV 18a–19) was the basis for compositions for both the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction) and the later Picturesque Views in England and Wales. For other views in and around Fowey see under folio 5 verso (D08371).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
See ‘Polruan Blockhouse’, Fowey.co.uk, accessed 3 February 2011, http://www.fowey.co.uk/site/activities-and-attractions/polruan-blockhouse-p708123.

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