Joseph Mallord William Turner

Chepstow Castle from the River Wye


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 135 × 95 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XL 17 a

Catalogue entry

The composition is continued on folio 18 recto opposite (D01492).
Turner made a drawing of Chepstow in the contemporary Hereford Court sketchbook (Tate D01261; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 14); another study of it in the present book, rather more worked up, is on folios 19 verso–20 recto (D01624, D01626; Turner Bequest XL 93–94). He had visited Chepstow in 1792, making drawings there (Tate D00130; Turner Bequest XII A, and verso, D40034) and a little later a watercolour of Chepstow castle (Courtauld Gallery, London),1 engraved for Walker’s Copper-Plate Magazine in 1794 (Tate impressions: T05883, T05884). Although it was an archetypal Picturesque site, described by William Gilpin (1724–1804)2 and drawn by many artists, he never made it the subject of a mature watercolour.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.311 no.88, reproduced.
See William Gilpin, Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, &c. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty. Made in the Summer of the Year 1770, London 1782.

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