Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunstanburgh Castle from the South

1797

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 210 x 270 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00952
Turner Bequest XXXIV 45

Catalogue entry

The subject is drawn with the page turned horizontally. This early fourteenth-century castle, dramatically sited on the brink of the Northumberland cliffs about eight miles north-east of Alnwick, was an obvious subject for the topographer of the Sublime, and Turner drew and painted it in several contexts. A painting based on this drawing was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne);1 preparatory work for it includes the monochrome composition study Tate D01113 (Turner Bequest XXXVI S), and a coloured study, Tate D00890 (Turner Bequest XXXIII S). There is a watercolour version of the subject (National Trust, Wallington Hall).2
Turner made a smaller oil painting, showing the castle from a slightly different viewpoint (Dunedin Public Art Gallery),3 and a finished watercolour of this composition also exists (Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne).4 The two viewpoints were combined in the Liber Studiorum design (see Tate D08118; Turner Bequest CXVI Q) and the watercolour for the England and Wales series (Manchester Art Gallery).5 A further treatment of Dunstanburgh from the south occurs in the painting of 1834, Wreckers, – coast of Northumberland, with a steam-boat assisting a ship off shore (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven).6
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.4–5 no.6, pl.4 (colour).
2
Not in Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979.
3
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.23–4 no.32, pl.28.
4
Wilton 1979, p.331 no.284.
5
Ibid., p.395 no.814, reproduced.
6
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.206–7 no.357, pl.360 (colour).
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

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