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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Brent Tor and the Lydford Valley, Devon c.1814-16

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Brent Tor and the Lydford Valley, Devon c.1814–16
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 313
Watercolour on white wove paper, 173 x 245 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 313’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Eric Shanes has identified the subject as the Lyd Valley in Devon, looking south-west across Fernworthy Down on the western fringes of Dartmoor from the vicinity of Fox and Hounds Cross on the Tavistock to Okehampton road, south of Shortacombe and about two miles north-east of Lydford; Brent Tor, an outcrop surmounted by a church near the village of North Brentor, appears on the horizon to the left. The pale yellow sky over shadowy hills suggests ‘dusk’.1
The source is a slight outline drawing in the Devon Rivers, No.1 sketchbook (Tate D09506; Turner Bequest CXXXII 24),2 now dated to 1814. Shanes’s date of ‘?1813–16’ for the present sheet has been amended accordingly here; although he does not link it to any particular project,3 there may be a potential connection with the Rivers of Devon scheme, as discussed in the Introduction to this section. See also Tate D25450 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 327), which may be related.
Shanes 1997, p.58.
See ibid., p.94.
Technical notes:
Finger or palm prints are evident in the blue washes in the distance. The sheet has darkened and yellowed owing to prolonged display, and an irregular piece about 10 mm square has been replaced below the horizon at the left-hand edge and washed to match adjacent colours.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘34’ top left and ‘81 | a’ right of centre; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII–313’ bottom left.

Matthew Imms
July 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Brent Tor and the Lydford Valley, Devon c.1814–16 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, February 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-brent-tor-and-the-lydford-valley-devon-r1184412, accessed 21 June 2024.