Joseph Mallord William Turner

Barden Tower up the Wharfe Valley from the South-East


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 x 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 61

Catalogue entry

From the wooded banks of the River Wharfe, Turner looks north to Barden Tower. Folios 19 recto and 21 recto (D09861, D09880; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 60, 77) are variations; all three sketches show the tower as the focal point in the distance, flanked by carefully drawn trees in the foreground. The drawing on folio 58 recto (D09796; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 7) may be a further version, although the tower itself is not evident there. The studies recall the watercolour Barden Tower on the Wharfe (private collection),1 apparently painted for Walter Fawkes in about 1809, and based on large pencil drawing (Tate D12110; Turner Bequest CLIV L) which was made from a similar viewpoint.
For other views of the tower see under folio 15 verso (D09860; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 59a).
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.363 no.550, reproduced, as c.1815, without Fawkes-related provenance.
Technical notes:
There is a dark offset to the left, left perhaps by a straight-edged tool or ruler.
Blank, save for inscription by John Ruskin in red ink ‘919’ bottom left

Matthew Imms
July 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

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