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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Land's End: Longships Lighthouse from Dr Syntax's Head 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Recto:
Land’s End: Longships Lighthouse from Dr Syntax’s Head 1811
D41302
Turner Bequest CXXV a 26
Pencil on white wove paper, 140 x 215 mm
Inscribed by Turner ‘G’ left of centre and ‘S’ towards bottom right
Inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ’26.’ top right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXV.A – 26’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The view is from Dr Syntax’s Head at Land’s End, looking west to the Longships lighthouse. Turner’s annotations may indicate grass and stone. Clarkson Stanfield made a comparably precipitous view to be engraved for his English Channel series Coast Scenery in 1836 (Tate impressions: T05637, T05638). For other views in this sketchbook at and around Land’s End, see under folio 22 recto (D08941; CXXV 50, bound as CXXV a 22).
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently mistakenly noted the subject as ‘Cliffs with St. Michs Mt. in dist.’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell described it correctly in his own notes as ‘Lands End and Longships Lighthouse’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets.
1
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.356, as CXXV(a) 13.
2
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 26.
Technical notes:
The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed by C.F. Bell in pencil ‘Land’s End & Longships Lighthouse’ bottom left; inscribed by Edwin Fagg in pencil ‘112 | 13’ bottom right. There are glue stains at the corners of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Land’s End: Longships Lighthouse from Dr Syntax’s Head 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 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-lands-end-longships-lighthouse-from-dr-syntaxs-head-r1137450, accessed 12 July 2020.