Joseph Mallord William Turner

Berwick Castle from the North-West

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26005
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 46 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch of the ruins of Berwick Castle from the north-west, continued on folio 47 (D26006; CCLXVII 47), must have been made directly before or after Turner drew the sketch on folios 48 verso–49 (D26009–D26010; CCLXVII 48a–49) that became the basis of the watercolour Berwick-upon-Tweed circa 1832 (whereabouts unknown).1 The two sketches were made from a similar viewpoint, and both show the castle ruins with a mill building, parts of Berwick-upon-Tweed beyond, and the River Tweed to the right (continued in this sketch on folios 47).
Robert Cadell described Turner as taking ‘his Sketch at the Scotsgate in a field on the left hand side on the Dunse Road’,2 by which he probably meant Castle Terrace, which runs into Duns Road. The present sketch was made from the northern end of the field, while the sketch for the watercolour was taken from the cliff edge to the west of the castle.
There is a similar view in the Berwick sketchbook (1831) (Tate D25692; Turner Bequest CCLXV 28a).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.430 no.1092.
2
Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 111 verso; 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.31, 1972, pp.384–5.

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