Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trees with Antony Passage and Trematon Castle across the St Germans or Lynher River Beyond

1814

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 178 x 110 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D09711
Turner Bequest CXXXIII 35 a

Catalogue entry

This drawing continues on folio 36 recto opposite (D09712). The view is north from around Jupiter Point below Antony House, looking across the St Germans or Lynher River to Antony Passage and Trematon Castle (the latter being on the opposite page). For other views on and around the river, see under folio 27 verso (D09700).
Andrew Wilton has described this double-page spread and the further study on folio 37 recto (D09713) as ‘a rare exception’, when Turner actually ‘stop[ped] to sketch a tree’.1 Finberg notes that the present two-page drawing was: ‘Described by Mr. Ruskin as “Crossing Brook.”’2 The source of John Ruskin’s comment, whether published or manuscript, is unclear, but it refers to Turner’s major West Country oil painting Crossing the Brook, exhibited in 1815 (Tate N00497),3 a view south down the Tamar Valley from above Gunnislake Bridge with trees on each side. Any slight overall compositional similarity here is entirely fortuitous. Ruskin actually exhibited the related drawing on D09713 as a study for the painting. For sketches relating directly to Crossing the Brook, probably made in 1813, see the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10271, D10273, D10274; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 46a, 47a, 48).

Matthew Imms
July 2014

1
Wilton 1974, p.24.
2
Finberg 1909, I, p.377; see also Smiles 1987, p.14 note 32.
3
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.93–4 no.130, pl.123 (colour).

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