Joseph Mallord William Turner

?The Truro River from Malpas


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 166 x 208 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV 23 a

Catalogue entry

The subject is unconfirmed, but may be the Truro River, looking south from Malpas, south-east of Truro itself. The Tresillian River flows into the Truro at this point, coming in from the lower left if the identification is correct. Travelling west from the St Austell area (see folio 23 verso: D08897; CXXV 22a) via Grampound, drawn in the Devonshire Rivers, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D08606; Turner Bequest CXXIII 125a), Turner probably passed through Tresillian, at the point where the river of the same name becomes navigable, and may have travelled down it to Malpas or continued by the Truro road.
The meandering Truro River flows in turn into the River Fal. There are inscriptions which appear to refer to St Michael Penkivel and Tregothnan, along the east bank of the Truro, on a river view in the Devonshire Rivers, No.1 book (Tate D08570; Turner Bequest CXXIII 106). On folio 25 verso (D08901; CXXV 24a), the next sketch in the present book, the viewpoint is Flushing, north of Falmouth on the Penryn River, another tributary of the Fal, which Turner could have reached by various land or water routes.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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