after Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bolton Abbey


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Line engraving on paper
Image: 88 × 83 mm
Purchased 1988

Display caption

This vignette illustration, which accompanied Samuel Rogers's volume of Poems, was engraved on a steel plate. Steel as opposed to copper plates were more suitable for executing such delicate designs. The relative hardness of steel allowed extremely fine detail to be engraved in this small format.


The subject matter of some of Rogers's poems allowed Turner to use material
from his earlier sketchbooks, gathered on previous tours in England. This engraving shows Turner's poetical treatment of the ruins of Bolton Abbey on the banks of the River Wharfe.


Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

[from] Rogers's ‘Poems’ pub.1833–4 [T04671-T04677; T05114-T05133; T06644-T06646]

Twenty line-engravings, several touched in pencil, by various engravers, comprising seventeen subjects out of a total of thirty-three; various papers and sizes; some annotated or stamped with names of collectors
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery (earlier provenance given in individual entries where known)
Lit: Mordechai Omer, Turner and the Poets, exh. cat., Marble Hill House 1975; Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner's Vignettes and the Making of Rogers’ “Italy”’, Turner Studies, vol.3, no.1, 1983; Lindsay Stainton, Turner's Venice, 1985; Andrew Wilton, Turner in his Time, 1987; John Gage, J.M.W. Turner: 'A Wonderful Range of Mind’, 1987; Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South, 1987; Cecilia Powell, ‘Charles Lamb and Turner's Illustrations to Poetry’, Turner Society News, no.52, 1989

For details of the series see introduction to T04671-T04677. Edward Goodall (1795–1870) was responsible for engraving the majority of the plates for the Poems, while the other engravers were William Miller (1796–1882), who produced four plates, Robert Wallis (1794–1878), who made two, and Henry Le Keux (1787–1868), who was responsible for one.

A few of these impressions are annotated or stamped with the names of collectors. Three plates bear the stamp ‘J,E, Taylor Collection | 15.7.12 A,W,’ (for details of John Edward Taylor and the collector A.C. Wallis, see the introduction to the ‘Provincial Antiquities of Scotland’, T04485-T04501). One plate appears to have belonged to Frederick Goodall RA (1822–1904), the son of the engraver Edward Goodall, whose Reminiscences of 1902 include several interesting anecdotes concerning Turner's relations with his engravers and fellow artists. Another plate is annotated as belonging to H.P. Mellor, who seems to have sold his collection on 29 April 1921. The sale did not take place at Christie's or Sotheby's, however, and has not been traced.

T05121 Bolton Abbey engr. R. Wallis, pub.1833

Line-engraving, vignette, approx. 73 × 87 (2 7/8 × 3 7/16) on India paper laid on wove paper 435 × 300 (17 1/8 × 11 13/16); plate-mark 289 × 152 (11 3/8 × 6)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Turner, R.A.’ below image b.l., ‘Wallis.’ below image b.r., ‘Yates Printer’ below image lower right; Turner studio blind stamp b.r. of image
Prov: Artist's sale, Christie's 24 April 1873 (in 367–92)
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.394, first published state

Published: p.186, ‘The Boy of Egremond’. Original watercolour: Tate Gallery, TB. CCLXXX 179 (Wilton 1979, no.1198).

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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