Joseph Mallord William Turner

Gledhow Hall, Leeds


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 15

Catalogue entry

Gledhow Hall still stands between Gledhow Lane and Gledhow Wood Close, in a wooded valley between Chapell Allerton and Roundhay on the north side of Leeds, three miles north of the centre of the city;1 it is now divided into apartments and largely surrounded by flats and garages.2 At the time of Turner’s visit it was the home of John Dixon, a successful local merchant,3 whose sister was the sister-in-law of Turner’s friend and major Yorkshire patron, Walter Fawkes4 (see the Introductions to this sketchbook and the overall grouping). David Hill has suggested that Turner may have stayed at the house while drawing in the area.5
Dixon commissioned a watercolour of the house.6 Eric Shanes has noted the present sketch in connection with the finished composition, Gledhow, of 1816 (private collection),7 which was engraved and published in 1820 with a supplement to Dr Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s 1816 history of Leeds, Loidis and Elmete8 (again, see the Introductions to this sketchbook and the overall grouping); it had been listed as plate 9 of the main 1816 volume.9 Of the children gathering sticks which were introduced into the design, Hill has observed that ‘the Dixons presumably approved of their inclusion since they paid for the publication of the plate’10 although such foraging for food and fuel was punished by many landowners through the courts.11
Turner’s viewpoint here is east-north-east across the valley from the Chapell Allerton side. The trees in the sketch are continued just a little to the left on folio 2 verso opposite (D40881; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 13 verso). The direct source for the watercolour was the drawing on folios 3 verso–4 recto (D09806, D09857; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 15v–58). David Hill suggests the current view is the first sketch in the sequence;12 there is a further study on folios 4 verso–5 recto (D09858, D09801; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 58a, 12), the sketches having been brought together when the sketchbook was rebound, despite their widely varying numbering (see the sketchbook’s Introduction).
See Hill 2008, p.97; for Hill’s photographs of the house see pls.86 and 90.
Ibid., p.101.
Ibid, p.98.
Ibid., pp.98–9.
Ibid., p.99.
See Shanes 1990, p.77, and Hill 2008, p.99.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.362 no.543, reproduced.
See Shanes 1990, pp.77 under no.53, 283 note 44; see also Hill 2008, p.99.
See William Upcott, A Bibliographical Account of the Principal Works Relating to English Topography, London 1818, vol.III, pp.1387, 1390, where the plate is ‘announced as nearly ready for publication’.
Hill 2008, p.101.
See ibid., p.103.
See ibid., p.99.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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