Joseph Mallord William Turner

Gibside and the Derwent Valley from Winlaton Scar


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 232 × 328 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLVI 6

Catalogue entry

This panoramic view south-west over the Derwent Valley towards Gibside continues to the left across folio 9 verso opposite (D12267; Turner Bequest CLVI 5a). The main focuses of interest, the house and Column of British Liberty, appear towards the right of the opposite page; on the present page the River Derwent is shown flowing from the south-west towards Turner’s viewpoint on Winlaton Scar1 before turning to the south-east immediately below, towards High Dam (again shown on the opposite page). The wooded slopes of Scar Bank to the right, and Paddock Hill in the distance towards the left, flank the west bank of the river. The woods in the right-hand third or so of the drawing were omitted from the composition of the subsequent watercolour (Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle)2. Most of the double-page view is repeated from a slightly different position on the verso of the present leaf (D12269).
Evelyn Joll has dated the drawing as ‘probably’ from the week of 23–29 October 1817,3 although this is perhaps too literal an interpretation of Turner’s November 1817 letter recounting his recent movements (see the introduction to this tour).
Further studies of Gibside and the surrounding landscape are on folios 6 verso to 9 recto, 11 recto and 11 verso (D40723, D12265, D40724, D12270, D12271, D12266, D12272, D12273; CLVI 3 verso–4, [4 verso]–7, 7a, 5, 8, 8a). See the introduction to the tour and the entry for folio 6 verso (D40723) for more on the history of the house and estate.
See Rudd, ‘Retracing Turner’s Sketching Tours’, 2006, p.46, and Rudd, ‘Gibside – from Sketch to Engraving’, 2006, p.6.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.364 under no.557.
Joll 1994, p.[10]; see also less specific dating in 111th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Thos Agnew & Sons, London 1984, p.16 under no.81.
Technical notes:
The pencil number ‘6’ may obscure or reinforce John Ruskin’s customary red ink foliation, which is evident only faintly and intermittently in this much-rearranged book (see the introduction to the sketchbook).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

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