Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851)
Oil on canvas
35 3/8 x 47 1/2 in. (89.9 x 120.7 cm)
Inscribed: (right foreground, on building) SALTAS[H] / ENGLAND / EXPECT[S] EV[ERY] / [MAN TO DO HIS DUTY] (after Nelson's signal to the fleet before the Battle of Trafalgar); (middle ground, on building) BEER
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.9)
This picture is a product of Turner's journey to the west of England in summer 1811 and was exhibited at the artist's private gallery in 1812. Saltash is in Cornwall, across the Tamar River from Devonport and Plymouth. Ruskin described the painting in a letter of 1852 as "what the mind sees when it looks for poetry in humble actual life." The sky is damaged, but the lower half of the painting is well preserved.