Joseph Mallord William Turner

Interior of St Bride’s Church, Douglas, with the Douglas Tombs, Lanarkshire


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 25 a

Catalogue entry

Along with folio 24 verso (D26306) this page contains a quick sketch of the interior of St Bride’s Church in Douglas, Lanarkshire.1 Although they are only very rough sketches Turner records the monuments to the Black Douglas family, who built the church and named the village. This sketch shows the south wall of the chancel, as seen from the western end, with two windows and one of the three tombs. The tomb is at the right, with its elaborately carved canopy drawn in shorthand as a straight and a wavy line. The effigies of James, seventh Earl of Douglas (died 1443) and Lady Beatrice (or Beatrix) de Sinclair (died in or before 1463), are indicated by a horizontal line intersecting a ‘3’ shape which marks out their two bodies and heads. Several scribbled shapes below suggest the carved frieze beneath. A scribbled shape beneath the larger window at the centre of the sketch probably represents the beautifully carved tomb effigy of a woman that occupied the centre of the chancel. The diamond shape at the top left of the sketch may represent the east window. This is also shown at the right of folio 24 verso.
An inscription by Turner to the bottom left of the tomb looks like is says ‘Door’, although there is no door in the wall below the window now, and no sign of there having been one in the past. A more likely possibility is that it says ‘Dou’, referring to the Douglas family, their tombs and the name of the village.
Turner also sketches the exterior of St Bride’s Church; see folio 24 (D26305) for references.

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

Identified by David Wallace-Hadrill, ‘CCLXIX’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, unpaginated MS.

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