Joseph Mallord William Turner

?The Tavy Valley near Mary Tavy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 181 x 228 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXVII 54 a

Catalogue entry

The general view, particularly the profile of the hill on the right, is similar to that in an 1823 etching, and an 1842 impression with aquatint, Near Mary Tavy. Property of Jn. Buller, Esqr., by F.C. Lewis (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter). The Devon valley is now heavily wooded, making landmarks difficult to distinguish. The sketch is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation.
There are men and horses or donkeys and a two-wheeled cart or trap beside one of the two bridges on the left, apparently over a tributary of the main watercourse on the right. A Tavy identification is likely, given the context of this page among adjacent views along it and the Tamar, into which it flows, and the surrounding wooded, hilly landscape north-west of Plymouth. The sketchbook contains numerous views in and around these valleys between folios 46 verso (D10265; CXXXVII 43a) and 58 verso (D10289; CXXXVII 55a), probably made in the summer of 1813 in conjunction with those in the smaller Devon Rivers, No.1 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CXXXII). The latter is covered in the section of the present catalogue specifically devoted to Turner’s 1813 visit to Devon, where further information on Turner’s work in the locality will be found.

Matthew Imms
May 2011

Read full Catalogue entry


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