Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lincoln: The Western Towers of the Cathedral, with Exchequer Gate Seen from Bailgate

1794

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 275 x 211 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00342
Turner Bequest XXI O

Catalogue entry

This was used as the basis for the finished watercolour, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1795 (British Museum, London; Henderson collection, 1878–12–28–48).1 See Tate D00364 (Turner Bequest XXII K) for another study of the west end of the Cathedral from a more distant viewpoint.
Finberg’s comment that ‘the artist has here drawn with his head rather than his eye, that he puts down not so much what he sees as what he understands’2 is perhaps unnecessarily critical of a working drawing whose purpose is evidently simply to record essential facts about a complex structure of which he made other drawings: see Tate D00343 and D00344 (Turner Bequest XXI P, Q).
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.313 no.124, pl.22 (colour).
2
Finberg 1910, p.21.
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed in a later hand ‘5’.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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