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Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 61

Catalogue entry

This series of sketches of the cliffs near Berwick Castle were made by Turner on 10 and 11 August 1831 when he visited Berwick-upon-Tweed with Robert Cadell to make sketches for an illustration to volume 12 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works, Berwick-upon-Tweed circa 1832 (watercolour, whereabouts unknown).1 A sketch on folios 48 verso–49 (D26009–D26010; CCLXVII 48a–49) formed the basis of the design, and the studies on the present page, made from nearby, also contributed.
Across the centre of the page is a view of the cliff along the north bank of the River Tweed with the ruins of Berwick Castle at the top. At the base of the cliff at the left are two tiny figures. These were incorporated in Turner’s final design where they are shown to be part of a group of people hauling in fishing nets. Figures on folio 34 verso (D25985 CCLXVII 34a) may have also been incorporated.
At the top of the page are two sketches of Berwick Castle, with the ‘white wall’ which runs down the cliff from the castle to the river. The sketch at the top left also shows part of Berwick Bridge, a drawing of which (with part of Berwick at the left and Tweedmouth at the right) is at the bottom of the page.
There are further similar studies on folios 59 verso and 60 (D26031, D26032; CCLXVII 61a, 62). See folio 48 verso for more information on Turner’s sketches of Berwick.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.430 no.1092.

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