Made with the page turned horizontally, this fortunately well-preserved drawing was used as the basis of the finished watercolour executed for William Beckford and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800 with the title North-east view of the Gothic Abbey (sunset) now building at Fonthill, the seat of W. Beckford, Esq. (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester).1 The finished work follows it fairly closely, though Turner characteristically increased the scale of the landscape, while giving the left-hand group of trees a more dynamic slant away from the centre. A pencil study of the composition is in the Dolbadarn sketchbook (Tate D02162; Turner Bequest XLVI 113).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.338 no.339, reproduced.
For a proposed sequence for the leaves of the disbound Fonthill sketchbook, with this page as folio 13, see the Introduction.
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