Joseph Mallord William TurnerElgin Cathedral from the South-West 1831

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Elgin Cathedral from the South-West
From Inverness Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII
Date 1831
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 104 x 163 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D27080
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 24 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 24 Verso:
Elgin Cathedral from the South-West 1831
D27080
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 24a
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 104 x 163 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch looks north up King Street in the northern Scottish city of Elgin, with Elgin Cathedral behind a row of houses at the right. The two largely intact towers at the west end of the cathedral are at the left, with the remains of the south side of the nave, the south transept and east end at the right. On the left side of the road is the Manse of the Precentor, more commonly known as the Bishop’s House (see folio 132 verso and 133; D27204, D27205).
The sketch is out of sequence with the rest of Turner’s depictions of the cathedral, which are all towards the end of the sketchbook (see folio 139; D27215 for references), suggesting that this was either the first sketch that Turner made of the cathedral, or a final sketch made as an afterthought after completing his other studies.

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

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