Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dudley from the South-East, with St Thomas’s Church, St Edmund’s Church and the Castle

1830

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 120 x 203 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22098
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 63 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the view continues half way across folio 66 recto opposite (D22099; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 64), showing Dudley from the south-east, from higher and further south than on preceding pages. As part of unpublished Turner research informed by local knowledge, Dr Bernard Richards suggests that Turner drew from the vicinity of the old Rowley Regis road1 (now Dixons Green Road and Oakham Road) although later developments preclude the establishment of a precise viewpoint. Towards the right in the distance is Dudley Castle, with the tower of St Edmund’s Church below and the spire of St Thomas’s towards the left.
Frank Milner notes that this sketch shows Turner ‘experimented ... with strong overlapping diagonals intersecting hillsides and rooflines’ in contrast to the more idyllic, pastoral composition schemes seen on earlier folios, suggesting that this ‘diagonal and quartering emphasis’ may have informed the composition and lighting of Turner’s subsequent watercolour Dudley, Worcestershire of about 1832 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),2 engraved in 1835 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T05097, T06113, T06114).3
For other views of Dudley see under folio 23 recto (D22016).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
Conversation with the author, 14 May 2013.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.400 no.858, pl.195.
3
Milner 1990, p.54.

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