Joseph Mallord William Turner

Salisbury Cathedral from the East

c.1798

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 280 x 230 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00668
Turner Bequest XXVII G

Catalogue entry

The size of this drawing is not consistent with the format of Turner’s finished Salisbury watercolours, executed on commission for Sir Richard Colt Hoare; considerably smaller, it must be regarded as a study, although it is virtually a finished work. The strictly frontal presentation of the elevation is reminiscent of drawings emanating from an architect’s office, and Turner was indeed working for the architect James Wyatt (1747–1813) at this time, embellishing views such as the North-West View of Fonthill Abbey shown under Wyatt’s name at the Royal Academy in 1798 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven).1 Another general view of Salisbury Cathedral is the finished watercolour showing it from the south (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery).2
Although the full itinerary of the Fourth Loan Collection is given in the exhibition history here, this work seems to have been added at an intermediate stage by 1906, as it is not listed in the publication associated with the initial showing in Sheffield.3
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.338 no.333, reproduced.
2
Ibid., p.321 no.200, reproduced.
3
William White, Notes on a Biographical Series of Fifty Drawings and Sketches by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., Belonging to the National Gallery Collection, London 1896.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed by a later hand in pencil ‘18’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

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