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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Looking down on Conway Castle, from the South-East c.1799-1800

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Looking down on Conway Castle, from the South-East c.1799–1800
D03652
Turner Bequest LX a K
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 550 x 770 mm
Watermark ‘J Whatman 1794’
Inscribed by Turner in brown ink ‘52’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LX (a) – K’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is one of the sequence of North Welsh studies bearing Turner’s numbering; this subject is however perhaps a preparation for a composition similar to the 1800 watercolour Caernarvon Castle (Tate D04164; Turner Bequest LXX M), rather than a study on the spot like the majority of the rest: this is a carefully considered ‘topographical view’ rather than an observation made on the spot. Having originally identified it as Cockermouth Castle,1 Finberg recognised its true subject2 and considered it a ‘Very fine beginning not painted from nature’.3 Several watercolours of Conway dating from the close of the century are known,4 as well as a large oil painting (private collection );5 none of these duplicates the composition of this study.
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.163.
2
A.J. Finberg (died 1939), undated MS note in an interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.163.
3
MS note ibid., opposite p.163.
4
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.329 – 30, nos.268 – 272 (various collections, some reproduced).
5
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.107–8 no.141, pl.146 (colour).
Technical notes:
There are colour trials in the left margin.
Verso:
Blank

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Looking down on Conway Castle, from the South-East c.1799–1800 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-looking-down-on-conway-castle-from-the-south-east-r1180066, accessed 18 January 2022.