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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Crambe Beck Bridge, on the Road Between Malton and York c.1816-18

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Back Cover:
Crambe Beck Bridge, on the Road Between Malton and York c.1816–18
Pencil on laid paper, 182 x 116 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Identified, like the preceding subject (D11969; Turner Bequest CLI 16) as an aqueduct by Finberg, the structure recorded here is the still functioning viaduct carrying the main York to Malton road across the steep valley of Crambe Beck. See catalogue notes to D11969 for the architect, John Carr of York, and John Sell Cotman’s 1805 watercolour sometimes called ‘Chirk Aqueduct’ (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).1 The viaduct is also in the first sketch in The Aqueduct sketchbook (Tate D11976; Turner Bequest CLII 2).
Finberg further suggested a connection between the present sketch and Turner’s mezzotint plate The Stork and Aqueduct made for the Liber Studiorum, probably in the early 1820s, but not published.2 This suggestion was noted by Gillian Forrester in respect of the sketch in The Aqueduct sketchbook, but the connection with the Liber plate seems entirely superficial. Forrester suggests that the Liber plate might be based on an Italian scene, and it could equally be associated with Scotland or indeed some other locality. Any connection with Crambe Beck seems unlikely.

David Hill
September 2008

David Hill, Cotman in the North, 2005, p.93, where the former title of ‘Chirk’ is challenged.

How to cite

David Hill, ‘Crambe Beck Bridge, on the Road Between Malton and York c.1816–18 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2008, 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-crambe-beck-bridge-on-the-road-between-malton-and-york-r1146997, accessed 19 August 2019.