Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dudley: The Castle, St Edmund’s Church and St Thomas’s Church from the East

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 × 203 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22103
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 66

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this sketch continues half way across folio 67 verso opposite (D22102; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 65a). With the ruins of Dudley Castle on the skyline to the right, and the tower and spire of St Edmund’s and St Thomas’s Church to the left, this view from the east apparently shows the old Birmingham road in the foreground,1 although later developments hamper an equivalent view today.
Of all his many sketches of Dudley (see under folio 23 recto; D22016), when Turner came to compose his 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), he seems to have used the background from this double-page drawing.3 He replaced the receding roadway with a canal flanked by industrial buildings, observed elsewhere in the area, their smoke and flames contrasting dramatically with the night sky over the castle and churches.
Dudley and the England and Wales watercolour are discussed further under D22016.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
See Milner 1990, pp.53, 54.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.400 no.858, pl.195; Wilton mentions the present sketchbook but not specific folios; see also Martin Butlin, Andrew Wilton and John Gage, Turner 1775–1851, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London 1974, p.122 under no.426, which also discusses views of Dudley in this sketchbook without specific references.
3
See Rodner 1988, pp.35–6, Milner 1990, pp.54–5, Lyles 1992, p.53, and Rodner 1997, p.113.

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