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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Laira (Plym Estuary) near Saltram Park with Plymouth Beyond 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 107 Verso:
The Laira (Plym Estuary) near Saltram Park with Plymouth Beyond 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIII 104a
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?d]’ top right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Having passed through Plympton (see folios 104 verso and 106 verso; D08561, D08565; CXXIII 101a, 103a), Turner here sketches the view south-west towards Plymouth (see under folio 3 verso; D08367) along the Laira (the Plym Estuary). Mount Batten and the Citadel are indicated in the distance with Mount Edgcumbe beyond. There is a sequence of sketches from similar viewpoints in the neighbourhood of Boringdon Park in the later Devon Rivers, No.2 sketchbook (Tate D09715–D09716; Turner Bequest CXXXIII 39, 40, 41), as well as an oil sketch, perhaps made on the same occasion in 1813 (Tate D09211; Turner Bequest CXXX E).1
The exact viewpoint is difficult to establish owing to later development including housing and dual carriageways in the foreground. Saltram Park is on the slopes to the left; Turner drew the house in the contemporary Cornwall and Devon sketchbook (Tate D41277; Turner Bequest CXXV a 2). The fortification on the summit to the right is Clarke’s Battery.2

Matthew Imms
June 2011

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.133 no.213, pl.218 (colour).
See Sam Smiles, ‘The Devonshire Oil Sketches of 1813’, Turner Studies, vol.9, no.1, Summer 1989, p.14.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Laira (Plym Estuary) near Saltram Park with Plymouth Beyond 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-laira-plym-estuary-near-saltram-park-with-plymouth-r1137044, accessed 07 April 2020.