View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Joseph Farington is especially remembered today for his Diaries, which provide a remarkable insight into artistic life in London between 1793 and 1821. A pupil of the landscape painter Richard Wilson, Farington chose to specialise in topography. He was a prolific draughtsman and favoured an intricate drawing style derived from the Venetian artist Canaletto, characterised by short, broken pencil strokes resembling dots and dashes, visible here under the washes of colour. This sketchbook was almost certainly used by Farington on a tour to the West Midlands in 1789. In this study he has used ruled pencil lines to help him draw in correct prespective. The lines meet at a point on the right-hand pinnacle of the cathedral's east end.
Gallery label, September 2004