Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lichfield Cathedral from St Michael’s Churchyard, Greenhill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 x 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 51 b

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the view is north-west towards Lichfield Cathedral, with the north side of St Michael’s Church prominent on the left above its graveyard. There are some slight incidental details at the top left, perhaps of carvings on the north porch. The word at the bottom right, possibly ‘John’, was presumably noted from a tombstone. The pinnacled tower left of the cathedral is that of St Mary’s Church, later rebuilt with a spire and now partly given over to Lichfield Heritage Centre. There has been much subsequent development. There are clouds over the cathedral, with vertical strokes below possibly indicating rain.
Andrew Wilton has identified a loose ‘colour beginning’ (Tate D25221; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 99) as being based on this sketch.1 For other views of Lichfield, see under folio 50 verso (D22068).
Wilton 1975, p.109; Wilton 1979, p.403.
Technical notes:
Finberg noted: ‘This was a loose, unnumbered page, but it appears to have belonged here originally.’1 This side and the verso (D22072; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 51c) are numbered in red ink, presumably by Finberg, rather than in Ruskin’s blue ink on the other leaves.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Finberg 1909, II, p.731.

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