Joseph Mallord William Turner

Durham Cathedral Seen from the South-West across the River Wear


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 162 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LIII 15 a

Catalogue entry

This is a slight sketch, with the neighbouring buildings studied in greater detail where the subject is continued on folio 16 recto opposite (D02484). This is one of a sequence of thirteen double–page pencil drawings made in Durham; see also folios 16 verso–28 recto (D02485–D02508) of this book. Further views in watercolour are on folios 97 recto and 98 recto (D02608, D02609).
Turner had made a number of detailed studies at Durham on his tour to the North of England in 1797; see the North of England sketchbook (Tate D00937; Turner Bequest XXXIV 31), and the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01013–D01018, D01091; Turner Bequest XXXV 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 89).
See also the entry for folio 27 recto (D02506).
It is evident from the sketches here, and especially from the two coloured drawings at the other end of the book, that, like many artists, Turner was unable to resist the picturesque grandeur of the place.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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