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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Grasmere, Looking North towards Helm Crag 1797

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 46 Recto:
Grasmere, Looking North towards Helm Crag 1797
Turner Bequest XXXV 33
Pencil on white wove paper, 274 x 370 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Grasmere’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XXXV 33’ bottom left, descending vertically
With the page turned horizontally, Turner’s viewpoint here is somewhere on the western shore of Grasmere Lake, looking north towards the village of Grasmere, with the eminence of Helm Crag behind it. Beyond, hidden by low cloud, is Helvellyn, which Turner had passed on his journey down the Vale of St John from Keswick; see the preceding leaf, folio 45 recto (D01034; Turner Bequest XXXV 32). To the right are the slopes of Greatrigg Man and Rydal Fell. Dove Cottage, which was to become Wordsworth’s home at the end of this year, stands close to the edge of the lake at the foot of Rydal Fall, just out of the range of Turner’s view.
Turner scholar David Hill notes that the Red Lion Hotel at Grasmere offered its guests the use of a boat, and suggests that the rowing-boat in the foreground was Turner’s means of transport from the village to this relatively remote spot. A rowing-boat is shown in the middle of the lake in another view taken from close by, on the following leaf, folio 47 recto (D01089; Turner Bequest XXXV 87).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by John Ruskin in brown ink ‘105’ (circled); ?in a later hand in blue crayon ‘17’; and by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.33’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Grasmere, Looking North towards Helm Crag 1797 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-grasmere-looking-north-towards-helm-crag-r1150210, accessed 03 December 2021.