This sketch, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, is the closest to Turner’s watercolour design (currently untraced),1 engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales as Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire (Tate impressions: T04593, T05090). Those on folio 46 recto opposite (D22061), 47 recto and 50 recto (D22063, D22067) and the slight views inside the back cover (D41046) show similar aspects. As Eric Shanes has noted, ‘the large number of those studies suggests that the painter went to great lengths to find a view of the scene that sparked his imagination’.2
Here the brick-built garden tower at the south-west corner of the formal gardens is seen from the south in the middle distance, aligned with the castle’s kitchen block and the square tower of St Helen’s Church, with the town beyond to the left. The view is remains recognisable across the neighbouring fields, though much obscured by trees. At the top left and top right are small studies of other buildings, presumably nearby.
For other views of Ashby, see under folio 21 verso (D22012; CCXXXVIII 21).
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