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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Plymouth Citadel and Mount Batten 1813

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Plymouth Citadel and Mount Batten 1813
Turner Bequest CXXXI 8
Pencil on white wove paper, 95 x 157 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘8’ bottom right, descending vertically, and ‘6’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXXI – 8’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, this eastwards view from below Plymouth Hoe towards the Citadel and the Mount Batten fort is the source for the untraced watercolour Plymouth Citadel of about 1813,1 etched in 1814 and engraved in 1815 for the Rivers of Devon but not published until 1823 (Tate impressions: Tate T06009, T05785; see the concordance of the series in the Introduction to the 1813 tour). The lighting effect on the Citadel in the finished design is taken from the similar view on folio 7 recto (D09224), under which the subject is discussed further. The drawings made nearby on folios 9 recto and 10 recto (D09225) were used for a companion Rivers of Devon design showing Plymouth Sound.
The subjects as far as folio 127 recto (D09358) are all identified or presumed sites within a few miles in and around Plymouth, suggesting a series of fairly short excursions.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.350 no.440, under which unspecified ‘drawings of ... the Citadel’ in this sketchbook ‘probably used for’ no.440 are mentioned.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Plymouth Citadel and Mount Batten 1813 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-plymouth-citadel-and-mount-batten-r1147952, accessed 22 January 2021.