Joseph Mallord William Turner

Abbotsford; and Melrose


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 16

Catalogue entry

There are continuations of two sketches on this page. At the very left is the continuation of a sketch on folio 15 verso (D25956; CCLXVII 15a) of Abbotsford from the north. Part of Abbotsford house is drawn at the very inside edge of the page. Across the rest of the page is the continuation of a sketch from folios 14 verso and 15 (D25942–D25954; CCLXVII 14a–15), Turner having peeled back folio 15 to continue the view to the right here. The sketch is a view of Melrose from across the River Tweed to the east, and here shows the Tweed continuing round to the right beyond Melrose.
At the top right of the page is a red watercolour blotch. This was probably made by Turner removing excess paint from an overloaded brush while he was referring to the sketch as he painted a watercolour. As both the sketches of Abbotsford and Melrose were used as the basis for subsequent paintings, Turner could have been painting either Abbotsford circa 1832 (private collection),1 or Melrose 1831 (National Gallery of Scotland).2 Although red does not appear prominently in either painting, Turner probably mixed it with other colours.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.430 no.1093.
Wilton 1979, p.428. no.1080.

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