- Museum number
Saltash, Cornwall; the town viewed from the water, boats filled with soldiers and other passengers in the foreground, beyond large ships. 1825
Watercolour, touched with bodycolour
- Production date
Height: 273 millimetres
Width: 408 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Ref: C. Reginald Grundy, 'The Beecham Collection III Works by Turner', Connoisseur, XXXVIII, April 1914, p. 228, repr. p. 226.
As 'Saltash' is the only dated watercolour in the entire series Turner made for 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales', it was probably among the first group that the artist delivered to Charles Heath in February 1825. At that time, Heath mentioned that a number of gentlemen had already offered him 50 guineas each for these watercolours, and although engraving began immediately, the first plates did not appear until March 1827. In fact, Heath held an exhibition of forty-one of Turner's works, many for the England and Wales series, at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly in June and July 1829.¹ Benjamin Godfrey Windus and Thomas Griffith were amongst the earliest owners of the original watercolours, and they lent the greatest numbers to Heath's later exhibition at the Moon, Boys and Graves gallery in 1833 (Griffith lent thirty and Windus sixteen).² This watercolour can be seen at the end of the lower right row in John Scarlett Davis's watercolour of Windus's gallery (frontispiece).
Although it was amongst the first of the series Turner delivered to Heath, 'Saltash' was not amongst the first group to be engraved. This may have been because, with its large groups of figures and naval vessels dominating the fore- and middle-grounds, it may not have represented the type of "picturesque" landscape view with which Heath would have wished to launch and advertise the forthcoming series. The first plate issued was a much more typically "Turneresque" and "picturesque" view of the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey nestled in its river valley in the Yorkshire moors. With 'Saltash', however, Turner was signalling his own intentions for this series: he planned to explore the life and people of the towns and harbours of England and Wales, not just the physical attractions of the landscape itself. In fact Andrew Wilton has described the series as "modern "history pictures" in which the common man is the hero": here the lives of the families of the marines are played out in great detail before us; women, children, sailors, officers and their ships are all lovingly depicted, and even their reflections in the still waters are given far more prominence than the pale town hovering on its hill in the distance.
1. Gage 1980, pp. 237-8.
2. See Shanes 1979, p. 157.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1929, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, no.17
1833, Moon, Boys and Graves Gallery, no.48
1857, Manchester, no.337
1909, Agnew's, no.157
1919, Agnew's, no.30
1927, Agnew's, no.18
1959, 1960, BM
1966 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.21
1969 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.21
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.90
1985, BM, British Landscape Watercolours 1600-1860, no.92
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.26
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Benjamin Godfrey Windus (by 1833)
Previous owner/ex-collection: J H Maw
Previous owner/ex-collection: R R Davies (by 1857)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Anonymous (sale Christie's 3.iii.1862/52, bt in; Christie's 10.iii.1876/130, bt S. Addington, £420.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Knowles (His sale, Christie's 7.iv.1865/122, bt Vokins, 210 gns.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: J & W Vokins
Previous owner/ex-collection: Frederick Richards Leyland (His sale Christie's 9.iii.1872/36, bt White, £472 10s.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Samuel Addington (his sale Christie's 22.v.1886/57, bt Vokins, £204 15s.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Stephen G Holland (his sale Christie's 26.vi.1908/261, bt Agnew's for Sir Joseph Beecham, £1102 10s. plus 10% commission £110 5s.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Joseph Beecham (His sale Christie's 4.v.1917/152, bt Agnew's for Lloyd, £1470 plus 5% commission £73 10s. (stock 8573))
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BEQUEST, NONE OF THE PRINTS OR DRAWINGS BEQUEATHED BY R. W. LLOYD MAY BE LENT OUTSIDE THE BRITISH MUSEUM (Registration Numbers 1958,0712.318 to 3149).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number