Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dryburgh Abbey from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 71 a

Catalogue entry

There are two sketches of Dryburgh Abbey on this page. With the sketchbook inverted is the continuation of a sketch from folio 70 (D26052; CCLXVII 72), showing the abbey from the east. With the book turned to left from the previous sketch is a view of Dryburgh Abbey from the south. This formed the basis of Turner’s depiction of the abbey in his watercolour, Dryburgh Abbey circa 1832 (Tate N05241),1 prepared as the frontispiece illustration to volume 5 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works; the rest of the landscape was based on a drawing across folios 8 verso–9 (D25941–D25942; CCLXVII 8a–9).
This sketch looks towards the gable of the south transept, with the chapter house on the right and the south range to the left. Some details of the abbey are altered in the watercolour, which (as Anne Lyles has observed) was to some extent an amalgamation of several sketches.2

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1078.
Lyles 1992, p.44.

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