Joseph Mallord William Turner Wollaton Hall: Part of the South Front 1794

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Artwork details

Wollaton Hall: Part of the South Front
From Matlock Sketchbook
Turner Bequest XIX
Date 1794
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 111 x 181 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XIX 34 a
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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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