Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tintagel: The Haven, with Stone-Lifting Gear


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 x 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 34

Catalogue entry

Quarrymen’s lifting gear, comprising a capstan and winch, are shown from Tintagel Haven’s beach, looking north along the shore towards Barras Nose in the distance. There are views in the opposite direction, showing the winch in its setting below Tintagel Castle, on folios 32 recto and 33 recto (D41308, D41309); see the entry for the first for general comments on the site. Turner’s shading indicates the mouths of caves along the shore; he sketched the harbour and castle from within the left-hand one on folio 57 recto (D41338). There is a detailed 1901 pencil drawing of the caves and the cliff by Sir Edward Poynter (Tate T09371).
Although it shows a different aspect, Eric Shanes has noted this sketch, along with those mentioned above, in connection with 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 perhaps ‘an idea for the “Ports [of England]” series.’4 D41308 is closest to the Southern Coast design. 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 tentatively noted the subject as ‘?Tintagel’ in a manuscript listing,5 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Tintagel’ without qualification.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) 52.
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 34.
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’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘152 | 52’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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