Joseph Mallord William Turner Dunstanburgh Castle: Rocks in the Foreground 1797–8

Artwork details

Dunstanburgh Castle: Rocks in the Foreground
Date 1797–8
Medium Crayon, pastel and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 300 x 478 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXVI T
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Catalogue entry

The composition is based on a drawing in Turner’s North of England sketchbook (Tate D00952; Turner Bequest XXXIV 45). Turner scholar David Hill suggests that its broad expressive handling indicates that it was probably made in preparation for the painting now at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand.1 It was also apparently made use of in the genesis of a finished watercolour now in a UK private collection.2 Turner made further sketches towards these compositions in his Dynevor Castle sketchbook (Tate D01599–D01600, D01603–D01604, D01607–D01608, D01611–D01612; Turner Bequest XL 80a–81, 82a–83, 84a–85, 86a–87).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.23–4 no.32, pl.28.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.331 no.284.
Technical notes:
The sheet is stained and dirty, with blots of brown ink.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

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