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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Axmouth Harbour and Haven Cliff 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 59 Verso:
Axmouth Harbour and Haven Cliff 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIII 56c
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘W[...]’ on cliff towards top left, ‘Axm’ bottom centre and ‘[?Stone]’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 56c’ top left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Looking east from across the mouth of the River Axe, Haven Cliff rises above Axmouth’s small harbour. Axminster is about six miles inland, so Finberg’s identification is apparently a slip, as Mr Roger Laughton, a South Devon resident, confirmed to the author during cataloguing.1 An 1854 lithograph of The Mouth of the Axe by William Spreat after Newbury (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter) shows the same view, which can still be observed from the end of Seaton’s Esplanade; a later bridge carries Harbour Road across the estuary just to the north. A sketch which may show another aspect of the site is on folio 62 recto (D08481; CXXIII 59).
There is a view of cliffs at Seaton on the recto (D08475), under which other local views are mentioned.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

Roger Laughton, email to the author, 15 June 2009.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Axmouth Harbour and Haven Cliff 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 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-axmouth-harbour-and-haven-cliff-r1136953, accessed 29 May 2022.