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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Coastal Cliffs in Cornwall or North Devon 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
Coastal Cliffs in Cornwall or North Devon 1811
D41276
Turner Bequest CXXV a 1a
Pencil on white wove paper, 141 x 215 mm
Embossed stamp ‘BATH | [crown] | VELLUM’ within oval cartouche
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Stone’ at centre
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The vigorous pencil work on the left is somewhat ambiguous, but there is possibly a squarish building above the shore at the centre, with little else to indicate a specific location. The rugged geology is in keeping with the Cornish and North Devon settings of most of the views in this sketchbook.
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the subject as ‘Rocks on Coast’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it in his own notes as ‘Bay with precipitous shores’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets, although in this case they appear on the recto as now bound (D41275).
1
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.357, as CXXV(a) 90 [recto].
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 1a.
Technical notes:
There are glue stains at the corners of the recto, which show through. The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Coastal Cliffs in Cornwall or North Devon 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-coastal-cliffs-in-cornwall-or-north-devon-r1137424, accessed 12 July 2020.