Joseph Mallord William Turner

Warfleet Creek, Dartmouth

1811

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 170 x 209 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08856
Turner Bequest CXXIV 41

Catalogue entry

The location is Warfleet Creek on the west bank of the Dart Estuary, just south of the town of Dartmouth and west round One Gun Point from Dartmouth Castle, which appears in the distance in sketches on folios 46 recto and 47 recto (D08861, D08862); other Dartmouth views are discussed under the first of these.
The present subject has been newly identified by Joslin Fiennes in the course of research on artists working in the area. As she has pointed out, although none of the individual buildings remains readily recognisable today, the same overall scene is clearly depicted in Thomas Mann Baynes’s rather Turnerian 1830 engraving Warfleet Bay, near Dartmouth, Devonshire (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter).1
This is the first of a sequence of five drawings, four of which Finberg tentatively identified as views on the River Dart. See also folios 42 recto, 43 recto and 44 recto (D08857–D08859), which all show the same scene from similar viewpoints, with riverside houses climbing the hill to the left and a tower near its summit, with the Dart in the distance to the east. Finberg described the fifth view, on folio 45 recto (D08860), as ‘near Dartmoor’; it shows the same scene from the opposite direction, looking from the hill.
1
Joslin Fiennes, email to the author, 21 June 2011.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by John Ruskin in red ink ‘8’ bottom left, upside down. There is some brown spotting on the left.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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