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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bideford Bridge 1814

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 79 Recto:
Bideford Bridge 1814
Turner Bequest CXXXII 79
Pencil on white wove paper, 90 x 152 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘79’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXXII – 79’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Eric Shanes has recognised the sketch on folio 66 recto (D09550) as a view of Barnstaple Bridge, with its sixteen arches over the River Taw (which Finberg misidentified as the twenty-four-arched bridge at nearby Bideford). The drawings in between, on folios 67 recto, 68 recto, 69 recto and 70 recto (D09551–D09554), noted by Finberg as the ‘same bridge’ (i.e. supposedly Bideford) are therefore also identifiable as of Barnstaple Bridge. However, the two drawings of a similar bridge on this page and folio 79 verso (D09565) do indeed, as Finberg suggested, show Bideford Bridge, on the River Torridge, as the latter is annotated ‘24’.1
For other views in the Bideford area, see folios 76 recto, 77 recto and 78 recto (D09561–D09563); a possible view on the Torridge some way inland is on folio 60 recto (D09544).
Shanes 1997, pp.59, 92 note 2 under no.40; for the watercolour, see p.58 no.39, reproduced (colour).
Technical notes:
There is some staining to the right-hand edge of the leaf.

Matthew Imms
June 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Bideford Bridge 1814 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-bideford-bridge-r1147111, accessed 25 June 2019.