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
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.