Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dryburgh Abbey: Interior of the Ruins


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 210 × 270 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXIV 62

Catalogue entry

Dryburgh is probably the earliest Premonstratensian house in Scotland; it was founded by Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland, in 1150 and work on the permanent buildings was begun later in the twelfth century.
The subject is drawn with the page turned horizontally. David Hill notes that this view is from the east end looking west into the nave; he points out that Turner includes portions of both the north transept, at right, and the south transept, at left, changing his position in order to do so. Another view of Dryburgh, showing the Abbey from a distance, is bound out of sequence as folio 24 recto (D00929; Turner Bequest XXXIV 23). When Turner was working on his series of illustrations for Scott’s Poetical Works he made a small but spectacular panoramic view of Dryburgh (Tate N05241)1 which was engraved in 1833 by William Miller (Tate impressions: T04950, T05141).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1078, reproduced.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

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