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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Waterfall, Probably above a Beach in Cornwall or North Devon 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 23 Verso:
A Waterfall, Probably above a Beach in Cornwall or North Devon 1811
Turner Bequest CXXV 51v (bound as CXXV a 23 verso)
Pencil on white wove paper, 215 x 139 mm
Inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Land’s End & Longships Lighthouse’ top left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This slight sketch shows a waterfall in a gully, with what may be a rock in the foreground. There are cascades from the coastal cliffs at various points in North Cornwall and Devon, such as near the castle at Tintagel (see under folio 9 recto; D41284) or Merlin’s Waterfall at Clovelly (see under folio 43 recto; D41322), but Turner’s drawing is not specific enough to facilitate a positive identification.
As discussed in the introduction, all of the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and most are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest.1 Although the drawing on the recto of this page (D08942; CXXV 51 (bound as CXXV a 23), to which Bell’s inscription refers, was recorded by Finberg in 1909, the present drawing is not mentioned; nor is it listed in Finberg’s or C.F. Bell’s later manuscript notes.2 See the entry for the recto for further discussion.
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909.
See A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356; and C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into another copy of Finberg 1909 at the same location, vol.I, p.356A.
Technical notes:
There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet, which is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Waterfall, Probably above a Beach in Cornwall or North Devon 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-waterfall-probably-above-a-beach-in-cornwall-or-north-r1137447, accessed 12 July 2020.