The sketch of Abbotsford on this page, made with the book inverted, was probably the third sketch of the house that Robert Cadell recalled Turner making on 8 August 1831. Having drawn the house from ‘a high bank or scar above the Gala’ (see folio 16 verso; D25957; CCLXVII 16a) and then from ‘opposite the house’ (see folio 17; D25958; CCLXVII 17), the artist and publisher then ‘drove westward to an ash tree. The gig was turned when he took a Sketch from it also of Abbotsford.’1
The ash tree may be at the left of the picture and Abbotsford is to the right of centre, seen from the south-west across the River Tweed. The sketch continues slightly on folio 67 verso (D26047; CCLXVII 69a). In 1834 the artist returned to Abbotsford and made several sketches of a similar view of the house: Tate D26186 (Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 47). These formed the basis of a watercolour which was engraved to illustrate John Gibson Lockhart’s Life of Scott: Abbotsford from the Northern Bank of the Tweed circa 1838 (whereabouts unknown).2
See folio 16 verso for further information on Turner’s sketches of Abbotsford.
Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Monday 8 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc. 5188, Box 12, folio 109; transcribed in Gerald E. Finley, ‘J.M.W. Turner and Sir Walter Scott: Iconography of a Tour’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.35, 1972, p.383.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.435 no.1142.
- River Tweed(107)