Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, Seen from the River Swale

1797

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 210 x 270 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00931
Turner Bequest XXXIV 25

Catalogue entry

The subject is drawn with the page turned horizontally. David Hill suggests that this drawing was made from a distance ‘in order to obtain a view which united the ruins with the river.’ The pencil drawing indicates the sharp curve of the Swale to the left immediately below the spectator, whereas a large finished watercolour based on it gives the impression that the viewer is on the opposite bank. This watercolour dates from shortly after Turner’s visit and is now in the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.1 He made a similar view of the abbey for Whitaker’s History of Richmondshire in about 1821 (British Museum, London).2 A third composition, showing the ruins from upstream, is recorded in a watercolour (British Museum)3which, Hill surmises, was worked up on a leaf from the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook.
Another drawing of Easby Abbey is on folio 25 recto (D00930; Turner Bequest XXXIV 24).
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.330 no.273, reproduced.
2
Ibid., p.364 no.561, reproduced.
3
Ibid., p.330 no.274, reproduced.
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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