Joseph Mallord William Turner

Glasgow Cathedral and the Bridge of Sighs from Molendinar Burn


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 69 a

Catalogue entry

This view of the Bridge of Sighs in Glasgow was made from the eastern bank of the Molendinar Burn, a stream that ran through Glasgow with the cathedral to the west and the Necropolis to the right. The bridge was built in 1833 to connect the cathedral and the burial ground. Although the stream has been covered by a culvert and Wishart Street now runs along its path the bridge still stands. Above the bridge to the left is the outline of Glasgow Cathedral. A crow-stepped gable to its left, which is repeated in a separate study above at the top left of the page, belongs to the tower of the old Barony Church (demolished circa 1890) which stood just to the south of the cathedral.1 This part of the church is also seen on folio 70 (D26392).
There is a much more developed sketch of the same view on folio 73 verso (D26399). For a full list of Turner’s sketches of Glasgow, see folio 73 verso.

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

For a comparative illustration see, Glasgow Delineated: in its Institutions, Manufactures, and Commerce: with a Map of the City, and Thirty-Nine Engravings of its Principal Public Buildings, second edition, Glasgow 1826, between pp.74–75 pl.VIII.

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