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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bridgnorth: Views from the South and North ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 77 Verso:
Bridgnorth: Views from the South and North ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 76a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 191 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘BN’ towards right centre, and ‘BN’ towards bottom right, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject was identified as ‘Bridgenorth’ (sic) by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory,1 where Finberg rather doubtfully suggested Richmond, North Yorkshire, or Shrewsbury as alternatives – compare for example the general form of a Richmond sketch in the 1797 Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01012; Turner Bequest XXXV 9); for Shrewsbury, see under folio 12 verso (D22172).
The main view here, continued across folio 78 recto opposite (D22293; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 77), shows Bridgnorth to the north up the valley of the River Severn. On this page, High Rock, north-east of the town, is shown beyond two chimneys on the east bank. At the top right is another view of Bridgnorth from the south, reprising the main drawing from a little further east with the castle, St Mary Magdalene’s Church and St Leonard’s Church along the skyline. There is a similar view on folio 1 recto (D22151), under which other sketches are mentioned, and on folios 79 recto (D22295; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 78), and 79 verso–80 recto (D22296, D22297; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 78a, 79).
At the bottom right here, the other way up, the town is shown from the north-east, with the tower of St Leonard’s in the middle distance.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.736; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.736; subject confirmed by Ian Warrell in notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files..

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Bridgnorth: Views from the South and North ?1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-bridgnorth-views-from-the-south-and-north-r1148940, accessed 29 March 2020.