Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of Coventry from the North

1830

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 110 × 68 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22349
Turner Bequest CCXL 16

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes confirmed Finberg’s identification of the subject as Coventry,1 in general relation to Turner’s watercolour Coventry of about 1832 (British Museum, London),2 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06105).
Made with the page turned vertically, there are three similar views here. The top one shows Coventry’s three spires (St Michael’s and Holy Trinity with Christchurch beyond from left to right) aligned to indicate a view from the north, from an area now much changed. Only one spire is shown clearly in the two drawings below. The bridge on the right of the middle sketch is possibly that carrying New Buildings over the River Sherbourne, long since covered over, as also seen on folio 13 verso (D22344). The viewpoints are near Swanswell Pool, apparently noted by Turner as ‘Swansell’, in the vicinity of the complex of slip-roads joining the Whitefriars section of the Ringway flyover.3 The spires remain visible from the lake.4
For nearby views, see under folio 13 verso (D22344) and for other Coventry subjects, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
Shanes 1979, p.156.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
3
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 1 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/covmaps/allmaps.php.
4
See ‘Swanswell Pool’, Orland 2013, accessed 2 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/nowandthen/swanswell-pool.php.

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