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Before he set out for the north in 1797 Turner had already drawn a number of the places he was to visit, basing his small watercolours on designs by other artists. This view of Carlisle was one of a group published in the Copper-Plate Magazine, and first appeared on 2 October, shortly after his return to London. Although Turner very probably passed through Carlisle on his 1797 tour, there are no extant sketches of the city.
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