Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunstanburgh Castle from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 223 × 292 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXVI R

Display caption

Although Turner made only a handful of sketches on the spot at Dunstanburgh in 1797, the exposed ruins continued to haunt his imagination. Back in London he experimented with ideas for pictures of the castle in various sketchbooks, in many of which he abandoned his preferred viewpoint from the south in order to explore other configurations of the fragmentary towers. Later in his career he utilised the view from the south again for two subjects that were engraved in his Liber Studiorum and the Picturesque Views in England and Wales.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

One of several drawings of Dunstanburgh to emerge from Turner’s visit there in 1797 (see Tate D00890, D01113, D01114; Turner Bequest XXXIII S, XXXVI S, T), this is a close view of the gatehouse from below the cliffs to the east, a different angle from the majority of his sketches, which are taken from the south. It is executed on the same buff-grey laid paper that he used for two important studies, one monochrome, the other in colour (D01113 and D00890 respectively).
Technical notes:
The lower right corner of the sheet has been torn away and made good with similar paper.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


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