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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views of Coventry from the North 1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 16 Recto:
Views of Coventry from the North 1830
Turner Bequest CCXL 16
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 68 mm
Partial watermark ‘er | 27’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Swansell] Pool’ towards top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘16’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXL – 16’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Eric Shanes confirmed Finberg’s identification of the subject as Coventry,1 in general relation to Turner’s watercolour Coventry of about 1832 (British Museum, London),2 engraved in 1833 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06105).
Made with the page turned vertically, there are three similar views here. The top one shows Coventry’s three spires (St Michael’s and Holy Trinity with Christchurch beyond from left to right) aligned to indicate a view from the north, from an area now much changed. Only one spire is shown clearly in the two drawings below. The bridge on the right of the middle sketch is possibly that carrying New Buildings over the River Sherbourne, long since covered over, as also seen on folio 13 verso (D22344). The viewpoints are near Swanswell Pool, apparently noted by Turner as ‘Swansell’, in the vicinity of the complex of slip-roads joining the Whitefriars section of the Ringway flyover.3 The spires remain visible from the lake.4
For nearby views, see under folio 13 verso (D22344) and for other Coventry subjects, see under folio 9 verso (D22336).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Shanes 1979, p.156.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.399 no.849, reproduced.
See successive historical street maps, [Rob Orland], Historic Coventry, accessed 1 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/covmaps/allmaps.php.
See ‘Swanswell Pool’, Orland 2013, accessed 2 July 2013, http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/nowandthen/swanswell-pool.php.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Views of Coventry from the North 1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, 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-views-of-coventry-from-the-north-r1148499, accessed 26 January 2022.