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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Caernarvon Castle: Ships under the Walls 1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 24 Verso:
Caernarvon Castle: Ships under the Walls 1799
Turner Bequest XLV 24a
Pencil on white wove paper, 225 x 329 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram below right of centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is the fourth in the sequence of views of Caernarvon Castle that Turner made in this book; the others are on the versos of folios 21, 22, 23, 25 and 26 (D01941, D01943, D01945, D01949, D01951). The sketch on D01949 is the abandoned beginning of a subject very close to this one. Another study, showing the towers wreathed in fantastical clouds, is folio 5 verso (D01917).
Here Turner’s boat, having brought him round the Caernarvon peninsular from the Menai Strait, has turned in to the harbour in the estuary of the River Seiont and he makes a summary sketch of the walls towering above the shipping. The name Seiont derives from that of the Roman fort, Segontium, which had been built on the river bank.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Caernarvon Castle: Ships under the Walls 1799 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-caernarvon-castle-ships-under-the-walls-r1177822, accessed 26 September 2020.