Saltash with the Water Ferry, Cornwall

Joseph Mallord William Turner British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 808

This picture is a product of Turner's journey to the west of England in summer 1811. Saltash is an old market town in Cornwall, across the Tamar River from Devonport and Plymouth, and is the site of a centuries-old ferry service. Turner evoked the commerce at Saltash through the boats, packhorses, and people assembled along the muddy shore. The leading British art critic John Ruskin described the painting in a letter of 1852 as "what the mind sees when it looks for poetry in humble actual life." Although the sky is damaged, the lower half of the painting is well preserved.

Saltash with the Water Ferry, Cornwall, Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London), Oil on canvas

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