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
D26032
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 62

Catalogue entry

In his diary entry of 10 August 1831, Robert Cadell writes about Turner making a sketch of ‘Berwick the old Castle, the Bridge and sea’.1 Gerald Finley has identified a number of sketches that fit this description, including the drawing across the present page and folio 59 verso (D26031; CCLXVII 61a).2 This was made a short distance from the spot where Turner took his preliminary sketch (folios 48 verso–49; D26009–D26010; CCLXVII 48a–49) for his watercolour Berwick-upon-Tweed circa 1832 (whereabouts unknown).3
The view, drawn with the sketchbook inverted, was therefore taken from the cliff-edge on the north bank of the Tweed to the west of the castle near where the Royal Border Bridge now stands; it looks east along the Tweed with Berwick Bridge and the estuary beyond. Berwick Castle stands at the top of the cliffs with its defensive ‘white wall’ running down to the water, and beyond it to the right is the tower of the Town Hall in Mary Gate. Part of Tweedmouth and Spittal, at the mouth of the river, are shown on folio 59 verso.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Wednesday 10 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 111 verso; transcribed in Finley 1972, p.384.
2
Finley 1972, p.384 note 149.
3
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.430 no.1092.

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