Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Laira near Plymouth, with a ?Ruined Building


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 95 × 157 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXI 142 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, this drawing is part of a sequence working in from the back cover of the sketchbook, which correlates with accounts of a voyage Turner and others made from Plymouth south-east to Burgh Island, returning by land from Kingsbridge (see folio 252 verso; D09430; Turner Bequest CXXXI 163a) towards Plymouth. The sequence begins on folio 275 (D09476; Turner Bequest CXXXI 186a), under which the overall trip is discussed, and may extend as far as folio 228 verso (Tate D09382; Turner Bequest CXXXI 139a). The subject here appears to be the Laira (the Plym Estuary), as seen on folio 232 verso (D09390; Turner Bequest CXXXI 143a) and subsequent pages, probably looking south-west towards Plymouth, although the viewpoint and orientation are uncertain, as is the identity of the apparently ruined building in the foreground.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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