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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dartmoor Hills, ?near Tavistock 1814

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 19 Recto:
Dartmoor Hills, ?near Tavistock 1814
Turner Bequest CXXXII 19
Pencil on white wove paper, 90 x 152 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Miltor]’, ‘[?Hartor]’ and ‘[?S...p...tor]’ from top centre to top right, with each word ascending near-vertically from points on the horizon
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘19’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXXII – 19’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg read Turner’s inscriptions as ‘Mill Tor’, ‘Staple Tor,’ and ‘Har Tor’, suggesting they were drawn near Tavistock1 (see under folio 144 verso; D09663); he later amended his reading of ‘Mill Tor’ as ‘Mis Tor’.2 There are many hills on Dartmoor, east of the town, including Great Mis Tor, Staple Tor, Sharpitor, Sheeps Tor, Hart Tor and Hartor (and slight variants of these names, which may have changed over time), but Turner’s slightly unclear inscriptions make it difficult to be sure which he is referring to, and his viewpoint remains to be established.
For other definite or likely Dartmoor views, see under folio 8 recto (D09489).

Matthew Imms
June 2014

Finberg 1909, I, p.373.
MS note in Finberg’s copy, ibid., Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Dartmoor Hills, ?near Tavistock 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-dartmoor-hills-near-tavistock-r1147044, accessed 26 July 2021.