Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of Worcester

?1831

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: 114 x 191 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22311
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 86

Catalogue entry

Along the top of the page is a view of Worcester Cathedral to the north-west from the direction of Battenhall. Immediately below it are the turrets of the Edgar Tower, which Turner had depicted in a watercolour of about 1794 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).1 Beyond is the spire of St Andrew’s Church, with a continuation of the skyline to the right added above; there is also a detail of window tracery below, which does not appear to relate to the cathedral; it may be from St Peter’s Church, of which the tower appears to be shown on this side of the Edgar Tower. The church, on St Peter’s Street north of the Birmingham and Worcester Canal, was rebuilt in the 1830s and demolished in 1976, and the site is now a car park.2
In the view below, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the cathedral is seen from the east, again with the Edgar Tower beside it. This prospect continues a little onto folio 86 verso opposite (D22310; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 85a), where the spire of St Andrew’s Church is the most prominent feature; the viewpoint appears to be in the vicinity of Wyld’s Lane, east of Fort Royal Hill, but later housing precludes a clear view.
For other views of Worcester, see under folio 2 verso (D22154).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.314 no.135, reproduced.
2
See ‘Worcester Then & Now – St. Peter’s Church’, Worcester City Museums, accessed 15 April 2014, http://www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk/content/aswas/asw01.htm.

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