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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of the Herefordshire Beacon, or British Camp, near Malvern ?1793

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
View of the Herefordshire Beacon, or British Camp, near Malvern ?1793
Turner Bequest XIII H a
Pencil on white laid paper, 86 x 130 mm; 191 x 130 mm
Watermark: crown and shield
Inscribed in red ink ‘XIII H’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XIII H’ top right, ascending vertically
Inscribed in pencil ‘D.40239’ top left, upside down (see main catalogue entry)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The British Camp is a large Iron Age fort that crowns the Herefordshire Beacon, a summit in the Malvern Hills three miles south of Great Malvern. It is distinctive for its circle of walls and ditches in steeply rising tiers, which present a similar aspect from both south and north. This drawing was probably made on, or close to, the road from Eastnor to Hollybush, to the south. Turner may well have taken this route back from Wales in 1793, the likely date of the sheet. A larger pencil drawing of this subject, inscribed ‘Malvern Hills’, is in the British Museum, London (1953–4–11–35).
Technical notes:
There is a slight continuation of the lower part of the composition on D40239 (Turner Bequest XIII H b), the other half of this part of the sheet. Owing to the complexities of accessioning, the present drawing (D00153) has been incorrectly inscribed ‘D.40239’, and vice versa. This sheet of studies and notes was once folded into four quarters (now, after cleaning, only in two halves, with traces of the second fold visible). The overall sheet is 260 x 191 mm, with each half of the recto and verso thus measuring 130 x 191 mm. Each of these four ‘halves’ has been accessioned separately, in the present case with two distinct ‘D’ numbers:
‘Recto’: on one half, the present drawing (D00153; XIII H a), adjacent to a drawing of a road between rocks (D40239; XIII H b); on the other half, colour trials and a drawing of a nude figure (D40269)
‘Verso’: on one half, a sketch map of roads and towns near Malvern (D40270); on the other a sketch map of the River Severn between Ledbury and Hereford (D40268)
D40268 is on the other side of the present work and D40239, while D40270 is on the other side of D40269.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘View of the Herefordshire Beacon, or British Camp, near Malvern ?1793 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, 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-view-of-the-herefordshire-beacon-or-british-camp-near-r1141167, accessed 18 May 2022.