Joseph Mallord William Turner

Durham Cathedral and Castle beyond Elvet Bridge


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLVII 11

Catalogue entry

To make this slight sketch of the medieval Elvet Bridge its surroundings, Turner looked down the Wear from its north bank at about the point where the New Elvet Bridge now crosses, with the cathedral and castle on the skyline to the south-west. There is a very brief continuation of trees to the left on folio 10 verso opposite (D40921). An elaborately-detailed townscape from the same viewpoint, made in 1797 on Turner’s first tour of the north, is in the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01017; Turner Bequest XXXV 14), and there is a view of the castle and bridge from further east in the Helmsley sketchbook of 1801 (D02503, D02504; LIII 25a–26).
This is one of a continuous run of drawings of Durham, beginning on folio 6 recto (D12325) and concluding on folio 14 recto (D12334), with a further sketch of Elvet Bridge (from the opposite side) on folio 76 verso (D12414). For Turner’s other visits to the city, see the entry for D12325.

Matthew Imms
February 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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