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 15 a

Catalogue entry

A view of Abbotsford from the north across the Tweed near Langlee, this sketch across two pages (continuing on folio 16; D25957; CCLXVII 16) along with folio 16 verso (D25957; CCLXVII 16a) formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour, Abbotsford circa 1832 (private collection),1 engraved as the frontispiece to volume 12 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works. The house appears across the join of the two pages, its neo-gothic turrets standing out as distinguishing features. A red watercolour blotch on folio 16 was probably made by Turner removing paint from an overloaded brush as he was painting Abbotsford, or his view of Melrose 1831 (National Gallery of Scotland)2 with the book open at this page for reference.
Turner made these sketches on 8 August 1831, and an account of his movements that day, including a description of where he made the sketches from, was made by Robert Cadell who accompanied him (see folio 16 verso; D25957; CCLXVII 16a for more information and references).

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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