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

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lincoln: The Western Towers of the Cathedral, with Exchequer Gate Seen from Bailgate 1794

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Lincoln: The Western Towers of the Cathedral, with Exchequer Gate Seen from Bailgate 1794
D00342
Turner Bequest XXI O
Pencil on white wove paper, 275 x 211 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Horner | Cabinet Maker’ on building towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XXI O’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This was used as the basis for the finished watercolour, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1795 (British Museum, London; Henderson collection, 1878–12–28–48).1 See Tate D00364 (Turner Bequest XXII K) for another study of the west end of the Cathedral from a more distant viewpoint.
Finberg’s comment that ‘the artist has here drawn with his head rather than his eye, that he puts down not so much what he sees as what he understands’2 is perhaps unnecessarily critical of a working drawing whose purpose is evidently simply to record essential facts about a complex structure of which he made other drawings: see Tate D00343 and D00344 (Turner Bequest XXI P, Q).
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.313 no.124, pl.22 (colour).
2
Finberg 1910, p.21.
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed in a later hand ‘5’.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Lincoln: The Western Towers of the Cathedral, with Exchequer Gate Seen from Bailgate 1794 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-lincoln-the-western-towers-of-the-cathedral-with-exchequer-r1141076, accessed 26 May 2015.