View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Turner had made several drawings at Durham during his North of England tour of 1797, and developed watercolours from some of them; see the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01014–D01018, D01091; Turner Bequest XXXV 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 89). However, he was unable to resist the temptation to draw its principal buildings as he passed through on this tour; there are also several in the Helmsley sketchbook, including Tate D02483–D02484, D02487–D02490 (Turner Bequest LIII 15a–16, 17a–18, 18a–19).
Here, at some distance away, Turner avails himself of the framing trees to create a composition that did not offer itself while he was working in the city. Another view of the Cathedral from a distance is on the verso (D02620).