J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Road over the Fells, with a Lead Mine 1797

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 49 Recto:
A Road over the Fells, with a Lead Mine 1797
Turner Bequest XXXV 35
Pencil on white wove paper, 274 x 370 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘lead mines’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XXXV 35’ bottom left, descending vertically
The subject was drawn with the page turned horizontally. Turner scholar David Hill tentatively identifies the lead mine that is just visible beyond the crest of the road in this drawing with the Grasmere Mine on Greenhead Gill, a stream that comes down from Rydal Fall to the north-east of Grasmere. However, Turner’s walk on this excursion from Grasmere may have taken him over the flank of Loughrigg Fell to Elterwater – see folio 50 recto (D01038; Turner Bequest XXXV 36) – and he may have encountered a mine on that itinerary. Such mines were of importance as supplying black lead or graphite for use in drawing implements; Westmorland was the most important source of this mineral in the world, and shortly after this period legislation was needed to curtail the over-exploitation of the resource.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.35’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘A Road over the Fells, with a Lead Mine 1797 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-road-over-the-fells-with-a-lead-mine-r1150213, accessed 28 July 2021.