Joseph Mallord William Turner

Elgin Cathedral from the South-West


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 24 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch looks north up King Street in the northern Scottish city of Elgin, with Elgin Cathedral behind a row of houses at the right. The two largely intact towers at the west end of the cathedral are at the left, with the remains of the south side of the nave, the south transept and east end at the right. On the left side of the road is the Manse of the Precentor, more commonly known as the Bishop’s House (see folio 132 verso and 133; D27204, D27205).
The sketch is out of sequence with the rest of Turner’s depictions of the cathedral, which are all towards the end of the sketchbook (see folio 139; D27215 for references), suggesting that this was either the first sketch that Turner made of the cathedral, or a final sketch made as an afterthought after completing his other studies.

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

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