Joseph Mallord William Turner

Torbay from Brixham; ?Shoalstone Point, Brixham


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 75 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 53 a

Catalogue entry

Malcolm Cormack notes this drawing’s connection with Turner’s watercolour Tor Bay, from Brixham of circa 1816–17 (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge),1 engraved for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast (see introduction to the 1811 tour.) A larger, more detailed drawing in the Corfe to Dartmouth sketchbook (Tate D08863; Turner Bequest CXXIV 48), looking north-west across the harbour and bay, provided most of the information for the watercolour.
The profile of the distant coastline to the north is similar in each case, and Turner incorporated women drying laundry in the left foreground of the watercolour, having recorded their presence in his inscription here. It is notable that William Daniell also included laundry women in his 1825 aquatint of Brixham for A Voyage Round Great Britain (see Tate T02994). There is another sketch of Brixham, comparable with Daniell’s view but previously misidentified as showing Bridport, on folio 56 verso (D08470).
The headland on the right appears at first glance part of the same view, but in reality there is open sea at this point. This is actually a separate sketch, and may show the coast just east of Brixham at Shoalstone Point, perhaps looking over the harbour from what is now Overgang Road. For Berry Head, eastwards of Shoalstone Point in turn, see folio 102 verso (D08557; CXXIII 99a).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

Wilton 1979, p.353 no.468, reproduced.

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