View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
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
Blank; inscribed by a later hand in pencil ‘18’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.