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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Carthamartha and Bishop's Rock on the River Tamar 1814

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 127 Recto:
Carthamartha and Bishop’s Rock on the River Tamar 1814
Turner Bequest CXXXII 127
Pencil on white wove paper, 90 x 152 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Mt Pleasant | Goold [?Esq]’ bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘127’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXXII – 127’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Diana Cook and Dorothy Kirk have identified the view as of Carthamartha and Bishop’s Rock;1 for their relative situation on the Tamar see under folio 126 recto (D09628). Turner’s viewpoint is near Dunterton, west of Endsleigh Cottage (see folio 129 verso; D09634) on the Devon side, looking to the south-west up a loop of the river which flows down from the centre, having entered the valley from the north beyond the trees to the right. The building on the horizon at the centre is at Carthamartha, where scattered farm buildings stand today beyond the woods above Carthamartha Rocks. Bishop’s Rock is towards the left, although not clearly distinguished.
The lettering of an 1823 engraving of Cartha Martha Rocks by F.C. Lewis, showing virtually the same view, cites ‘J. Gould Esq.’ as the owner of the rocks,2 which appears to account in part for Turner’s inscription. There is a ‘Mount Pleasant’ to the north of Lezant, about two miles north-west of Carthamartha and well outside the present field of view, so Turner may simply have been making a note of another local site.
For other views along the Tamar Valley, see under folio 114 verso (D09606).

Matthew Imms
June 2014

Cook and Kirk 2001, p.50; Cook and Kirk 2009, p.55.
Cook and Kirk 2001, p.51, with Lewis print reproduced p.50 and a modern photograph of the view by Kirk, p.51; Cook and Kirk 2009, p.55, again reproducing the print, with a photograph by Cook.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Carthamartha and Bishop’s Rock on the River Tamar 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-carthamartha-and-bishops-rock-on-the-river-tamar-r1147179, accessed 07 December 2021.