Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fonthill: View across a Valley towards the Unfinished Tower of the Abbey, from the North-East

1799

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 332 x 469 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D02188
Turner Bequest XLVII 11

Catalogue entry

Made with the page turned horizontally, this fortunately well-preserved drawing was used as the basis of the finished watercolour executed for William Beckford and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800 with the title North-east view of the Gothic Abbey (sunset) now building at Fonthill, the seat of W. Beckford, Esq. (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester).1 The finished work follows it fairly closely, though Turner characteristically increased the scale of the landscape, while giving the left-hand group of trees a more dynamic slant away from the centre. A pencil study of the composition is in the Dolbadarn sketchbook (Tate D02162; Turner Bequest XLVI 113).
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.338 no.339, reproduced.
Technical notes:
For a proposed sequence for the leaves of the disbound Fonthill sketchbook, with this page as folio 13, see the Introduction.
Verso:
Blank

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

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