Catwater. Entrance to Plymouth Sound ([1830?])

Thomas Goff Lupton
  • image IMAGEFORDA3059
Devon West Country Studies Not in stock
Devon PLY I/S
Illustration Reference
CD 35 DVD 5
Publication Details
Scope and Content
Ruskin, John. The harbours of England. London: Day & Son, c1830. p. 35. IV. CATWATER.I HAVE placed in the middle of the series those pictures which I think least interesting, though the want of interest is owing more to the monotony of their character than to any real deficiency in their subjects. If, after contemplating paintings of arid deserts or glowing sunsets, we had come suddenly upon this breezy entrance to the crowded cove of Plymouth, it would have gladdened our hearts to purpose; but having already been at sea for some time, there is little in this drawing to produce renewal of pleasurable impression : only one useful thought may be gathered from the very feeling of monotony. At the time when Turner executed these drawings, his portfolios were full of the most magnificent subjects-coast and inland,-gathered from all the noblest scenery of France and Italy. He was ready to realize these sketches for any one who would have asked it of him, but no consistent effort was ever made to call forth his powers ; and the only means by which it was thought that the public patronage could be secured for a work of this kind, was by keeping familiar names before the eye, and awakening the so-called "patriotic," but in reality narrow and selfish, associations belonging to well-known towns or watering-places. It is to be hoped, that when a great landscape painter appears among us again, we may know better how to employ him, and set him to paint for us things which are less easily seen, and which are somewhat better worth seeing than the mists of the Catwater, or terraces of Margate. [Text may be taken from a different source or edition than that listed as the source by Somers Cocks.]