Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Ivy Bridge, on the River Erme at Ivybridge; Dunster and the Somerset Coast


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 117 × 75 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 153

Catalogue entry

There are two separate drawings on this page. The vertically orientated view of what is probably the Ivy Bridge with a horseman crossing, made on the South Devon leg of Turner’s 1811 tour, was abandoned; a second, horizontal version was completed on the verso (D08655; CXXIII 153a). The more delicate profile of a coastline with a vertical feature, drawn with the page turned horizontally, appears to show the Conygar Tower above Dunster in Somerset, and the coast of Blue Anchor Bay beyond. There is a similar sketch, definitely showing Dunster, on folio 181 verso (D08699; CXXIII 178v); for further views, see under folio 19 verso (D08398).
Eric Shanes has noted the bridge sketch as a source for the watercolour Ivy Bridge of about 1813 (Tate D18157; Turner Bequest CCVIII X),1 engraved in 1816 for The Rivers of Devon, though not published until 1821;2 it is likely that in listing page ‘153’, Shanes intended to cite the more extensive drawing on the verso, referred to above.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.350 no.442, reproduced.
Shanes 1981, p.152, and 1990, pp.37 under no.15, 283 note 14; see also Shanes, Joll, Warrell and others 2000, p.102.

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