Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tintagel Castle

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 138 x 215 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41344
Turner Bequest CXXV a 62

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint is the east side of Tintagel Island, actually a peninsula, looking south-east. The archway and the stepped wall on the right survive; beyond it the hatching indicates the rock face below the ancient ruined castle on the mainland. Today various footpaths and flights of steps facilitate movement around the site, a footbridge allows access to Castle Road in the gulley towards the bottom left and the houses along Castle View encroach on the skyline at the top left. For other views of Tintagel, see under folio 9 recto (D41284).
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject tentatively as ‘Ruins of castle on cliff. ?Tintagel’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Rocky height’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
1
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 51.
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356B, as CXXVa 62.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘152 | 51’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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