Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle from the South; with Other Studies


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 45 a

Catalogue entry

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).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.398 no.840.
Shanes 1990, p.276; see also p.286 note 232, and Shanes 1979, p.156.

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