Joseph Mallord William Turner

Colchester Castle

c.1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 × 118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18166
Turner Bequest CCIX 4 a

Catalogue entry

These sketches show aspects of Colchester in Essex. The Castle is depicted in the principal sketch at centre, atop a ridge overlooking the town. The fortification was begun by 1076, under the instruction of King William I and the Bishop of Rochester.1 It is constructed on the foundations of an earlier Roman temple dedicated to Claudius.2 Other of the city’s picturesque buildings can be seen, including the Church of St Peter on North Hill at bottom right.
For other drawings of Colchester see Tate D18164–D18169, D18171, D18186, D18275–D18276, D18286, D18296–D18297; Turner Bequest CCIX 3a–6a, 7a, 16, 61–62, 71, 80a–81 and the watercolour housed in the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London (see Tate impressions T04511–T04512).3
At left Turner has also dashed off a cursory view of Colchester with the book orientated to portrait.

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2015

1
‘History’, Colchester and Ipswich Museums, accessed 6 January 2015, http://www.cimuseums.org.uk/article/10838/History
2
Ibid.
3
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.392 no.789.

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