Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Views of Barnard Castle

1831

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 187 x 114 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25827
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 34

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the right are four sketches of the town of Barnard Castle from the banks of the River Tees to the south. The top two and bottom sketch, when taken in order from top to bottom, show a progression away from the castle in the direction of Turner’s next destination, Egglestone Abbey, which lies about a mile to the south-east of Barnard Castle.
The castle is therefore fairly prominent in the top sketch, seen to the right of the two-arched bridge. At the top right of this sketch is the top of St Mary’s Church tower. The tower is clearer in the second sketch down in which the town of Barnard Castle and the castle itself can no longer be seen. In the bottom sketch the church and castle are not visible, but an arched bridge is. This could be either the castle bridge or Abbey Bridge (which is near Egglestone Abbey, to the south-east of the town).
The third sketch down takes us to the opposite bank of the Tees from Barnard Castle, probably somewhere around Egglestone Abbey. Barnard Castle stands on a raised bank towards the top of the sketch with St Mary’s to the right. The buildings by the river in the foreground may be the paper mill near Egglestone Abbey, shown on folio 34 verso (D25828).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

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