J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner Egglestone Abbey 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 34 Verso:
Egglestone Abbey 1831
D25828
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 34a
Pencil on white wove paper, 187 x 114 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In 1831 Turner made his third visit to Egglestone Abbey. He had visited in 1797 during his tour of the north of England and again in 1816 when he sketched it in preparation for a design for Whitaker’s History of Richmondshire: Egglestone Abbey, near Barnard Castle 1818 (watercolour, private collection).1 This time he had not been commissioned to make a picture of the abbey, but still made half a dozen sketches for his own purposes. He was in the area to make new sketches of Rokeby and the Greta in preparation for Scott illustrations, and passed the abbey between Barnard Castle and Rokeby.
With the sketchbook turned to the right, the view at the top of the page is of the abbey ruins from the south and so shows the nave and the single remaining wall of the south transept. Beneath that is a view, probably from the south-east, with the east window that can be seen more clearly in the sketch on folio 33 verso (D25826). The final sketch of the abbey is from the south and looks into the ruins through the missing section of the south transept.
At the bottom of the page is a sketch of several two-storey connected buildings. These are likely to be the paper mill run by Henry Cooke and his wife Hannah until 1830. Turner had sketched the mill on his two previous visits (Tate D00933, D11492; Turner Bequest XXXIV 27, CXLVII 31a) and had included it prominently in his watercolour.2 This time, however, he drew it from the opposite direction.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.365 no. 565.
2
David Hill, Turner in the North: A Tour through Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, the Scottish Borders, the Lake District, Lancashire and Lincolnshire in the Year 1797, New Haven and London 1996, p.46.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Egglestone Abbey 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-egglestone-abbey-r1134195, accessed 16 April 2014.