Joseph Mallord William Turner

Durham Cathedral: The Castle and Framwellgate Bridge from near the Prebend’s Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 274 × 370 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXV 11

Catalogue entry

Turner scholar David Hill suggests that it was Turner’s ‘first intention’ to make a general view of Durham from the Prebend’s Bridge, looking towards cathedral and castle with Framwellgate Bridge and the mill below. This drawing, with the page turned horizontally, gives the broad layout of that view, though it omits the cathedral itself, concentrating on castle and mill. Turner made a study of the Prebend’s Bridge itself, with the cathedral in the background, on folio 21 recto (D01091; Turner Bequest XXXV 89). Although at least one finished watercolour of the city emerged from this visit (see under folio 20 recto; D01018; Turner Bequest XXXV 15), the view from Prebend’s Bridge was not taken up and realised until the mid-1830s, when he executed the subject in watercolour for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh),1 which was engraved in 1837 (Tate impression: T05101). Other views of the city are on folio 19 recto (D1017; Turner Bequest XXXV 14) and in the contemporary North of England sketchbook (Tate D00937; Turner Bequest XXXIV 31). See also the Helmsley sketchbook of 1801 (Tate D02485; Turner Bequest LIII 16a onwards).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.402 no.873, reproduced.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by John Ruskin in brown ink ‘97’ (circled in pencil); in a modern hand in blue crayon ‘22’; and by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.12’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

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