Joseph Mallord William Turner

Kirkstall Abbey: Distant View from the South-East, with the Valley of the Aire


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 210 x 270 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXIV 15

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the page turned horizontally, the view is taken from Kirkstall Hill. David Hill notes that the smoke in the left distance denotes Kirkstall Forge. This detail also appears in Thomas Girtin’s 1800 watercolour of the same view (British Museum, London; 1855–2–14–53) and Hill proposes that Girtin made use of Turner’s drawing for his own work, omitting and simplifying in a way that typifies the temperamental and creative differences between the two artists. The fact that both were involved in working for the Lascelles family at the end of the decade points to a strong possibility that the two old friends and rivals were in close touch, though Turner was notoriously reluctant to share his working processes with others.
For further studies of Kirkstall, see under folio 11 recto (D00916; Turner Bequest XXXIV 10a).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


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