Joseph Mallord William Turner

Town on the Coast with a Ruin, a Lighthouse and a Bridge, Seen from the Sea


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 72 a

Catalogue entry

Across this page and folios 73 and 73 verso (D26233, D26234) there are sketches from the sea, which depict a town on the coast with a ruin on a cliff, a lighthouse and a multi-arched bridge (see folios 73 and 73 verso). These sketches belong to a larger group of sketches of the coast from the sea, made as Turner travelled south along the east coast from Edinburgh to London (folios 70 verso–77 verso; D26228–D26242).
David Wallace-Hadrill has suggested that this sketch, along with folio 77 verso (D26242), may depict Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast.1 However, while the ruin at the top of the cliff at the right does resemble Whitby Abbey somewhat, the coastline to the left is wrong, and the bridge depicted in some of the sketches does not fit with Whitby. The location of these sketches therefore remains unidentified.

Thomas Ardill
January 2011

David Wallace-Hadrill, ‘1834 | 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files.

Read full Catalogue entry


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