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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Fowey and Polruan Blockhouses and St Catherine's Castle from the Fowey Side 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto:
The Fowey and Polruan Blockhouses and St Catherine’s Castle from the Fowey Side 1811
D08393
Turner Bequest CXXIII 17
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Inscribed twice by John Ruskin in red ink ‘17’ bottom right and bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 17’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This view of the Fowey and Polruan blockhouses, built as a pair in about 1380 so that a chain could be raised between them to prevent hostile shipping entering Fowey Harbour,1 was made a little to the north of that on the folio 16 verso opposite (D08392). Looking south to the sea beyond the Fowey Estuary, Turner also includes the outline of St Catherine’s Castle in the distance on the right.
A more detailed study from nearby in the contemporary Ivy Bridge to Penzance sketchbook (Tate D08889, D08890; Turner Bequest CXXV 18a–19) was the basis for compositions for both the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction) and the later Picturesque Views in England and Wales. For other views in and around Fowey see under folio 5 verso (D08371).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
See ‘Polruan Blockhouse’, Fowey.co.uk, accessed 3 February 2011, http://www.fowey.co.uk/site/activities-and-attractions/polruan-blockhouse-p708123.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Fowey and Polruan Blockhouses and St Catherine’s Castle from the Fowey Side 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 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-the-fowey-and-polruan-blockhouses-and-st-catherines-castle-r1136870, accessed 17 January 2022.