In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 64

Catalogue entry

Taken from the south and made with the sketchbook inverted, this view of Jedburgh Abbey is quite similar to the sketch on folio 63 verso (D26039; CCLXVII 65a) that formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour Jedburgh Abbey circa 1832 (Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati).1 This sketch, however, was made from a little to the east and shows the Old Bridge spanning the Jed Water to the right of the abbey.
Turner’s sketch is economical, but while he has left most of the side of the abbey blank, he has drawn two each of the arches of the arcade, triforium and clerestory. At the top of the drawing is a distant tower labelled ‘Bell Tower Bewk’. This is presumably the cylindrical bell tower of Jedburgh Castle Jail, which lies to the south west of the abbey. Although another explanation, that this is a separate sketch of Berwick’s Bell Tower, may fit the inscription better (see Tate D25693; Turner Bequest CCLXV 29).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Wilton 1979, p.427 no.1072.

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