Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Gothic Nave: ?Basle Cathedral

1802

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 154 x 240 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04786
Turner Bequest LXXVII 43

Catalogue entry

The subject has long been unidentified, recognition being hampered by the mixture of Swiss, French and English subjects in the sketchbook and the break-up of their original sequence. However, to the present author this Gothic nave looks like that of Basle cathedral. Turner passed through Basle on his way along the Rhine back towards France and drew the outside of the cathedral on the Swiss bank of the river on folio 40 of this sketchbook (D04783). This is the only church interior drawn by Turner during his tour in 1802, although he visited many cities with notable Gothic churches, including Strasbourg after which this sketchbook was partly named.

David Blayney Brown
March 2004

Read full Catalogue entry

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