View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The Turner scholar C.F. Bell originally confirmed1 Finberg’s suggestion that this small study shows Fonthill Abbey under construction in Wiltshire in 1799. It seems to be an elaboration of the detail of the house in the distant view on folio 126 verso opposite (D03963; Turner Bequest LXVI 125a), and is placed on the page directly above the slight indication of the tower in that broad landscape. Although it does not correspond exactly to any of the finished watercolour views made for William Beckford in 1800 1800 (private collection; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester),2 it is fairly close to that in the South-West View (Toronto).3 See also the various views of the house and estate in the Fonthill sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XLVII).