Both these studies can be traced back to memoranda in the 1797 sketchbooks. In the case of the view of Bolton Abbey, Turner's on the spot was little more than a hasty outline, which allowed him greater freedom in his imaginative realisation of the subject in . He seems to be experimenting in both works with the depiction of forms under subdued lighting conditions where the eye does not expect so much detail. In the view of Kirkstall Abbey he has attempted to transform an upright into a format, but the resulting image does not entirely resolve the problems of scale and is such a distorted record of Kirkstall that it has resisted identification until now.
Gallery label, September 2004