Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 63 Verso:
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 65a
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 65a
Pencil on off-white wove writing paper, 113 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.859, CCLXVII 65a, as ‘Jedburgh.’.
Gerald E. Finley, ‘J.M.W. Turner and Sir Walter Scott: Iconography of a Tour’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.35, 1972, p.384 note 145.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.427 under no.1072.
Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott, London 1980, pp.126 reproduced pl.51 as ‘Jedburgh Abbey’, 128.
David Hill, Turner in the North: A Tour through Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, the Scottish Borders, the Lake District, Lancashire and Lincolnshire in the Year 1797, New Haven and London 1996, pp.99, 200 note 54.
With the sketchbook inverted is the drawing used as the basis for Turner’s watercolour of Jedburgh Abbey circa 1832 (Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati),1 engraved as the frontispiece illustration to the second volume of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works. Having first visited the abbey in 1797, Turner returned with Robert Cadell on 9 August 1831. They had been staying at Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford home, and, having set off in the carriage shortly after midday, arrived in Jedburgh at three o’clock. That evening they dined with a friend of Cadell’s in the village of Crailing on the way to Kelso where they stayed the night. This was the start of Turner’s journey to Edinburgh via Berwick-upon-Tweed, from where he went on to the Trossachs and the Highlands.2
As Gerald Finley has observed, Cadell recorded Turner making this sketch in his diary: ‘we went up the Jed Water & got a very good view of the abbey from a stone bridge’.3 The view is thus from Abbey Bridge to the south across the Jed Water. At the left of the abbey is the seventeenth-century Parish Church, built within the grounds of the abbey; it was replaced in 1875 by a new church built away from the abbey.4
The level of detail in this sketch, compared to Turner’s other sketches, suggests that the artist had already settled on this as his view. This viewpoint fits the original commission for a view of Jedburgh ‘with river in foreground’.5 It was a familiar view to Turner, who had made a similar sketch in 1797 (Tate D0972; Turner Bequest XXXIV 63). That sketch was presumably in Turner’s mind when he included (or invented) figures by the water in the foreground, including women washing clothes.
At the top right of the page is a small sketch of the quatrefoil design along the parapet at the top of the tower. The gables in Turner’s sketch no longer survive.
The sketch on folio 62 (D26036; CCLXVII 64) was taken from close by.
Wilton 1979, p.427 no.1072.
Finley 1980, pp.125–8.
Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Tuesday 9 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 111; transcribed in Finley 1972, p.384 note 145.
‘Jedburgh Abbey’, Undiscovered Scotland, accessed 19 June 2009, http://www
.undiscoveredscotland .co .uk /jedburgh /jedburghabbey /index .html
Walter Scott letter to Robert Cadell, 13 March 1831, MS Acc.5131, folio 43, in Finley 1980, p.240.
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