Joseph Mallord William Turner

Glasgow Cathedral from the Necropolis


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 70

Catalogue entry

In his inventory of the Turner Bequest, Finberg identified the subject of this sketch as Glasgow Cathedral, later annotating his personal copy with the note ‘From the Necropolis’.1 Glasgow’s cemetery stands on a hill to the east of the cathedral which is separated by a valley through which flowed Molendinar Burn. From 1833 the cathedral and cemetery were connected by the Bridge of Sighs, which is shown at the bottom of the sketch. An ornamental urn just to the right of the bridge, and a monument at the extreme right of the sketch (which is in about the right position to be the monument for the Jewish burial ground) both belong to the Necropolis. The cathedral is at the centre of the page, drawn in faint outline but for a few of the windows and buttresses, and the domed building to the left is the Royal Infirmary. At the left of the page are the pointed roof of the tower and the outline of the portico of the old Barony Church (demolished circa 1890), which is also depicted on folios 69 verso and 71 verso (D26391, D26395).
Folios 71 (D26394) and 71 verso both carry sketches made from the Necropolis. For a full list of Turner’s sketches of Glasgow, see folio 73 verso (D26399).

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.867. Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Study Room copy.

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