Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

c.1837

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 459 x 769 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36321
Turner Bequest CCCLXV 30

Display caption

Turner made three pencil sketches of Bamborough Castle in 1797, attracted particularly by the dramatic impact its outline makes on the horizon. He was alert to the dangers of this part of the Northumberland coast and noted the hull of a wrecked vessel below the castle in his sketch from the north. It was that sketch he chose to develop forty years later for one of his most ambitious late watercolours. First shown at the Graphic Society in 1837, the scene of wreckers at work below the castle was the last watercolour Turner submitted to a public exhibition (it is now in a private collection in America). This study is one of four in which he set out the composition of the finished work.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry