Turner and Teignmouth

In 1909 A.J. Finberg producedA Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest’.  Some of the information here refers to that document, whilst other information can be followed up through the citation at the end.

Probably in preparation for his 1811 tour, Turner made historical and architectural notes on Teignmouth and its surroundings from a recent edition of John Feltham’s Guide to All the Watering and Sea-Bathing Places.

Teignmouth, on the Devon coast between Exmouth and Torquay, is mentioned in Turner’s poetry on folio 164 verso (Tate reference: D08670; Turner Bequest CXXIII 161a). The poem is inscribed by Turner in ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove printing paper.

It is interesting that Turner’s tour took place only six years after the Battle of Trafalgar and the first two lines of the poem suggest the economic depression during the Napoleonic Wars.  Keats came to Teignmouth seven years later and does not appear to have picked up on that aspect during his stay in the town.

Turner Picture 1Two of the sketches accompanying the verse show ‘Teignmouth from Ringmore, with a Vessel under Construction’ drawn in pencil on white-wove paper. Sixty-eight vessels were constructed in the Teignmouth area during the Napoleonic Wars.

Turner Picture 2The location is the Strand at Ringmore, upstream to the west across the River Teign from Teignmouth.  Shaldon Bridge now crosses at about the point where boats are shown beached on the mud flats. There is also a view of the same boatyard looking inland which Finberg has bracketed with the first sketch forming a continuous composition, but it is unclear whether they were then bound together as they are now.  He also notes that the double-page sketch is the basis for the watercolour Teignmouth, Devonshire of about 1813 engraved in 1815 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England.

Finberg also noted Turner’s use of the drawing for the oil painting Teignmouth exhibited at his gallery in 1812 now displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex. In both the watercolour and the oil, the full extent of the left-hand (present) page was transcribed, but only a little of the wooded shoreline shown was used.

Want to know more? Follow the link in the following Citation:

Matthew Imms, ‘Teignmouth from Ringmore, with a Vessel under Construction 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-teignmouth-from-ringmore-with-a-vessel-under-construction-r1137329.

Also there is a pamphlet about Turner available from the Teign Heritage Centre.

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