after Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tintagel Castle


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Intaglio print on paper
Image: 162 × 241 mm
Purchased 1988

Display caption

The text accompanying this plate describes how the ‘rocks on this part of the coast give rise to a great height, and present objects of awful contemplation’. The legendary castle, fabled home of King Arthur, appears precipitously placed, high above the treacherous sea and rocks. The small figures of men hauling up a boat with a windlass seem vulnerable and dwarfed by the harsh landscape and wild elements. By using dramatic shifts in dark shadows and white highlights the engraver has instilled the view with an eerie, sublime atmosphere and infused the ruined castle in a ghostly, pale light.

Gallery label, September 2004

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