Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Church Spire, Possibly at Petworth, Grantham or Newark


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 308 × 487 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 304

Technique and condition

This work by Turner is a watercolour on a medium weight, cream wove paper. Titled Newark Church, it is a loose and fairly un-detailed sketch. Though on the whole fairly fluid in construction, there are a number of quite dry, scratchy marks particularly in the foreground. As seen on the horizon and in parts of the sky just above, the artist also appears to have also applied the media with some kind of stipple tool or piece of fabric. It is likely that this work has previously been treated due to the pressed out fold lines and the reasonable contemporary inlay in which it sat. The inlay paper was adhered to the back mount board which meant not only that any movement was restricted but also that the verso of the work could never be viewed. This has now been replaced in order to facilitate this. Particularly noticeable on the verso or through transmitted light there are a number of small spots in the sky area that maybe oil based. Noticeable by the slight change in media application on the recto of these spots it appears that they may also have previously been retouched. Otherwise, this work is in a reasonable condition.

Jo Gracey
May 2001

Catalogue entry

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