Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tintagel: The Haven, with Stone-Lifting Gear and the Castle Above


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 33

Catalogue entry

This sketch shows the quarrymen’s lifting gear and castle ruins above Tintagel Haven from a viewpoint slightly to the north of that used for the similar sketch on folio 32 recto (D41308). See the entry for the latter for general comments on the site.
Eric Shanes has noted that this sketch and those on folios 32 recto and 34 recto (D41310) are sources for the watercolours Tintagel Castle, Cornwall of about 1815 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston),1 engraved in 1818 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England2 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction), and another of the same subject of about 1825 (private collection).3 The later watercolour, perhaps ‘an idea for the “Ports [of England]” series’,4 shows a different aspect, without the winching gear shown in the sketches. D41308 is closest to the Southern Coast design; the present view is a variation, while D41310 shows the winch from the opposite direction. 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 as ‘Rocks’ in a manuscript listing,5 while C.F. Bell correctly described it in his own notes as ‘Tintagel’.6 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.352–3 no.463, reproduced.
Shanes 1981, p.152.
Not in Wilton 1979.
Shanes 1981, pp.39–40, 152.
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) 53.
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 33.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Tintagel (Southern Coast)’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘154 | 53’ top left, upside down; there is a notch cut out of the stub to which the leaf is attached, so as not to obscure these numbers. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop