Joseph Mallord William Turner

Durham Cathedral from across the River Wear


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLVII 9

Catalogue entry

The west front of Durham Cathedral is barely indicated on the right, to the north-east across the Wear from the wooded west bank. There are similar views in the 1801 Helmsley sketchbook (Tate D02483, D02484, D02495, D02496; Turner Bequest LIII 15a–16, 21a–22); on folio 8 recto (D12327), a more detailed sketch from nearby apparently shows a sign or stone inscribed ‘Durham’, which may be indicated again in outline towards the left here.
This is one of a continuous run of drawings of Durham, beginning on folio 6 recto (D12325) and concluding on folio 14 recto (D12334), with one further sketch on folio 76 verso (D12414). For Turner’s other visits to the city, see the entry for D12325, which also discusses later colour sketches and the Picturesque Views in England and Wales watercolour showing the cathedral from this direction.
Technical notes:
There is a small, dark deposit towards the bottom of the right-hand edge which aalso affects the verso (D12329).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

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