- Museum number
Criccieth Castle, North Wales; the castle seen on a hill over which a storm is breaking, figures on the beach standing near barrels and other items recovered from the sea in the foreground. c.1835
- Production date
Height: 290 millimetres
Width: 425 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Engraved by S Fisher, 1937, for 'England and Wales'.
As in 'Lowestoffe' (1958,0712.441),.the subject of this watercolour is not just man's relationship with the sea, but also his attempt to take advantage of its power; here customs officers inspect salvage collected from a wreck by the local inhabitants on this rugged part of the Welsh coast, the storm which caused the wreck still lashing the cliffs and churning the waves. This watercolour also dates from around 1836 and belonged to the same owner, the Scottish collector and admirer of marine paintings H.A.J. Munro of Novar.
Two or three colour beginnings in the TB CCLXIII series may be associated with this composition,¹ but the only drawings Turner made of this part of the Welsh coast date from his tour of 1798.² Prince Llewellyn's thirteenth-century castle, which stands on a rocky hill at the base of the Lleyn peninsula, was later enlarged by the English. They were driven out, however, by the Welsh in 1404, and the castle was sacked and burnt, its ruins standing as a reminder of Wales' ancient struggle for independence. Turner was presumably aware of the site's history when deciding to include it in the series of 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales', but, as usual, he treats it only as the background to a scene from "modern life". Also, as was his habit, he has taken some degree of licence with the height of the cliffs and the extent of the beach, and this has led to some discussion concerning his exact viewpoint. Even with the tide well out, it would be difficult for the water to be deepest at the base of the cliff rather than where the artist has most of the action taking place; but he needed a platform for his drama and an explanation for the event, as well as a backdrop in the form of a raging sea. Playing "god" with the elements himself, Turner simply reversed the direction of the tides.³
1. Shanes 1997, pp. 45-6.
2. BM 1975 (206).
3. See 'On the Trail of Turner in North and South Wales', Welsh Historic Monuments, Cardiff, 1995, pp. 30-31, and letter from the Rev. A. D. Hall, 1996, in BM dossier.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1899, Guildhall, no.131(where incorrect Fawkes provenance given)
1913, Agnew's, no.34
1959, 1960, BM
1966 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.32
1969 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.32
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.206
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.37
- Associated titles
Associated Title: England and Wales
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (His sale, Christie's 2.vi.1877/40, bt Agnew's (stock 4281), bt W. Dunlop 28 June 1877)
Previous owner/ex-collection: W Dunlop
Previous owner/ex-collection: Col H J Holdsworth (his sale Christie's, 4.v.1889/78 bought Stephen Gooden)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Stephen Gooden
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Newall (by 1899; his sale Christie's 30.vi.1922 /74, bt King, 850 gns)
Previous owner/ex-collection: King
Previous owner/ex-collection: J B Gaskell (of Roseleigh, Liverpool, his sale Christie's 30.iv.1926 /77, bt W. W. Sampson, 1550 gns)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sampson
Previous owner/ex-collection: Gilbert Lees Hardcastle (his sale Christie's 4.v.1933 /34, bt in at 380 gns; bt Lloyd (price and date unrecorded))
- 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