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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Exeter from Exwick 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 33 Verso:
Exeter from Exwick 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIV 33
Pencil on white wove paper, 170 x 209 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘16’ bottom left, upside down
Inscribed faintly in ?ink ‘33’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom centre
Stamped in black ‘CXXIV 33’ bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘645’ top right upside down on the recto (see discussion below)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s view is to the south-east, across the River Exe to Exeter Cathedral at the centre of the horizon with the broad estuary beyond to the right. The sloping foreground is now built over, but the distance can be glimpsed from Farm Hill on the northern edge of Exwick, with the Victorian spire of St Michael and All Angels, Mount Dinham, prominent to the right of the cathedral. The valley remains largely undeveloped, albeit crossed by the Great Western railway line. In the early nineteenth century the viewpoint was a popular one with artists emphasising the leafy, rural setting of the self-contained medieval city.1 For Turner’s other views of Exeter, see under folio 30 verso (D08842).
This page was recorded by Finberg as if it were a recto (without the ‘a’ suffix by which he usually indicates a verso), but the drawing he describes is bound as the verso of the sheet and the ‘recto’ is blank except for Ruskin’s number.
See ‘Exeter Topographical Prints 1660–1870: General & Miscellaneous Views’, projects.exeter.ac.uk (University of Exeter), accessed 4 March 2009, http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/exeter.cathedral/cocks-text/general.html.
Technical notes:
The sheet is darkened from prolonged exposure, except at the edges; many other leaves in the Turner Bequest which are affected in this way are known to have been extracted from sketchbooks and displayed for lengthy periods in the late nineteenth century, but there appears to be no recorded exhibition history for this page.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Exeter from Exwick 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 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-exeter-from-exwick-r1137326, accessed 16 January 2022.