Joseph Mallord William Turner

Wollaton Hall: Part of the South Front


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 x 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XIX 34 a

Catalogue entry

Wollaton, near Nottingham, is one of the most spectacular of the ‘prodigy houses’ built in the decades about 1600. Its architect was probably Robert Smythson, who was certainly involved in its construction in the 1580s, for Sir Francis Willoughby. It had been the subject of a bird’s-eye view by Jan Siberechts (1627–c.1700; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven), and was perhaps of special interest to Turner’s generation on account of its self-consciously romantic ‘medievalising’ design, with window tracery and tourelles on the corners of the extraordinary raised central hall.
A second drawing of the house is on folio 35 verso (D00247). That and the present drawing are inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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