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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Coventry from the North 1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Recto:
Coventry from the North 1830
Turner Bequest CCXL 14
Pencil on white wove paper, 68 x 110 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘68’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXL – 68’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Eric Shanes confirmed the subject as Coventry,1 in general relation to Turner’s watercolour Coventry of about 1832 (British Museum, London),2 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06105).
The view is similar to that on folio 13 verso opposite (D22344), The juxtaposition of Coventry’s three spires (St Michael’s and Holy Trinity with Christchurch beyond form left to right) indicates a view south to the city, from an area now much changed. The foreground, where there are possibly figures and animals, is probably the banks of the River Sherbourne, long since covered over, and the viewpoint appears to be off Hales Street near Swanswell Pool (see folio 16 recto; D22349), in the vicinity of the complex of slip-roads joining the Whitefriars section of the Ringway flyover.3 The buildings and trees on folio 15 recto (D22347) appear to continue the prospect to the right.
There is a similar sketch on folio 14 recto opposite (D22345) and a view from nearby on folios 16verso–17 recto (D22350, D22351). For other Coventry subjects, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Shanes 1979, p.156.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 1 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/covmaps/allmaps.php.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Coventry from the North 1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, 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-coventry-from-the-north-r1148495, accessed 26 January 2022.