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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Cartmel Sands, Cumbria c.1825-30

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Cartmel Sands, Cumbria c.1825–30
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 160
Gouache, pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 306 x 491 mm
Watermark ‘C Ansell | 1828’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Cartmel Sands’ towards top right
Inscribed in red ink ‘160’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 160’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This colour study has been proposed by Eric Shanes as a potential subject for Turner’s Picturesque Views in England and Wales.1 Turner crossed Cartmel Sands between Ulverston and Cark when returning from the Lake District in 1816,2 and there are pencil studies in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11169, D11171–D11173; Turner Bequest CXLV 83a, 84a, 85, 85a), showing the mountains of the southern Lake District in the background. Although the topography of the present study appears somewhat barren at first glance, with its identification largely facilitated by Turner’s inscription, it is modulated by the boats to the left, and a pencil outline of hills above the horizon, which may correspond with the range in the middle distance of D11171. There are also outline indications of storm clouds, while pencil work over the centre and to the right of the sands appear to indicate figures, possibly involved in fishing for cockles or mussels.
There are other colour studies of the shallow estuaries south of the Lake District: one possibly showing Lancaster Sands (Tate D25132; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 10); Duddon Sands (Tate D25226; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 104); and a wide view of Morecame Bay (Tate D25473; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 350).
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified but unrealised subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
Shanes 1997, pp.96, 105.
See David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps: Through the Hills and Dales of Northern England, London 1984, pp.84–5.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘44’ centre right, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 160’ bottom right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram above ‘CCLXIII – 160’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
March 2013

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Cartmel Sands, Cumbria c.1825–30 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-cartmel-sands-cumbria-r1144304, accessed 28 May 2024.