In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 140 × 235 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIX 30 a

Catalogue entry

Originally catalogued by Finberg as ‘Blenheim Palace’, this relatively finished sketch does not show Blenheim at all. Though equally monumental, this Baroque palace has a dome crowning the entrance portico to the central block, but Blenheim has no such dome. Unfortunately, this cataloguer has not been able to identify exactly which palace Turner shows here, despite the presence of a few rather tantalising architectural features such as the crested ‘triumphal’ style arches which flank the central block to left and right. More research needs to be undertaken to find out where this grand and clearly important building might stand or once have stood (does it still exist or was it demolished?). It is likely that the palace is continental, but is/was it situated in Germany and in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate or further afield, perhaps even in France or Luxembourg? Answers to these questions are surely within reach.
There are other small jottings of what look like the same palace, this time situated within parkland, on the paper paste-down of the inside back cover (Tate D41093).
Technical notes:
The leather corners of the binding have caused some discolouration in the corresponding areas of the sheet.

Alice Rylance-Watson
August 2013

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