Joseph Mallord William Turner

The East Lodge Gates, Farnley Hall; Farnley Hall and Architectural Details


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 111 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLIII 13 a

Catalogue entry

This is the left half of a double-page spread continued on D12018; Turner Bequest CLIII 14, opposite, recording the East Lodges at Farnley Hall, with the house itself beyond to the right, with a figure setting up posts by the side of drive to the right. The present page also has several architectural details of the window, chimney, gate piers, railings and gates, together with a detailed drawing of Farnley Hall as seen from the East, bottom right. The spread served as the basis of a watercolour, East Lodges, Farnley Hall (private collection),1 painted for Walter Fawkes about 1818 and numbered and names as ‘20 New Lodge’ in the list of Farnley and related subjects compiled by Turner in the present sketchbook (D12013; Turner Bequest CLIII 11a). The detail of Farnley Hall from the East is the same view as in another watercolour, Farnley Hall from the East (private collection)2; however, that is based on a more detailed sketch in the Devonshire Rivers, No.3, and Wharfedale sketchbook (Tate D09810–D09811; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 18a–19).
These lodge gates were evidently designed by Turner himself. A manuscript catalogue of the Farnley Hall collection compiled in 18503 lists the related watercolour as ‘East Lodge designed by J M W Turner’, and the attribution was endorsed by Effie Ruskin (later, Millais).4 This being the case, the relation of the sketch and watercolour to the building begs further consideration. The sketch appears to record the building as just finished, for the detail of the workman setting posts is a very natural finishing touch. It is not quite so clear, however, why Turner would expend so much detail in recording minutiae of a building that he had designed himself, but presumably any proper plans and instructions, if any such ever existed, were utilised by the builder.
A detail of a capital very similar to that of the gate piers here occurs inside the back cover of this sketchbook (D40717).
Another idea for a small pavilion, possibly connected in some way with this project, occurs in the Yorkshire 5 sketchbook (Tate D11550; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 17). Turner sketched some preliminary designs for the West and East Lodges at Farnley (Tate D34796; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 329).

David Hill
June 2009

Wilton 1979, p.368 no.589 as ‘Gate and Lodges, Farnley’.
Ibid., p.368 no.587.
Copies in the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and at Bradford City Libraries.
J..G..Millais, Life and Letters of J. E. Millais, London 1902, p.157 quotes Effie in reporting that ‘[Turner] had a fancy for architecture, but the lodges he planned at Farnley are of a heavy Greek design, and not quite a success’. Effie visited Farnley in the spring of 1850 with her first husband, John Ruskin.

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