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Robert Cadell, who accompanied Turner on his visit to Melrose Abbey on 8 August 1831, observed the artist closely and wrote in his diary that this sketch, taken from inside the abbey, is of ‘the East Window in an angular direction looking South East.’1 The drawing, which extends to folio 13 verso (D25951; CCLXVII 13a) and was made with the sketchbook inverted, shows a wide angle from north of the chancel to the window of the south transept, and therefore compresses the perspective somewhat. The sketch is highly detailed including fallen masonry in the foreground as well as the architecture and ruins. Further studies on folios 13 verso and 12 verso (D25949; CCLXVII 12a) of windows, niches, mouldings and vaulting provide further details.
Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Monday 8 August, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc. 5188, Box 1, folio 109; transcribed in Finley 1972, p.382, note 141.