Joseph Mallord William Turner

Kenilworth Castle: Leicester’s Building and the Great Tower


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 36

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this is a study at Kenilworth Castle shows the ruined Elizabethan south and east fronts of Leicester’s Building on the left, with the Great Tower across the inner court to the north. The viewpoint is from the foot of a slope just inside the outer castle wall; the corner of Leicester’s building is now obscured from this immediate angle by a large tree. The Great Tower is continued a little way onto folio 35 verso opposite (D22041), while Leicester’s Building is seen again on the verso (D22043).
Most of the sketches between folios 27 recto (D22024) and 37 verso (D22045) show Kenilworth. For the history of the castle and Turner’s subsequent watercolour, which Eric Shanes has described as a ‘synthesis’ of sketches between folios 28 verso (D22027) and 37 verso,1 see under folio 29 recto (D22028).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Shanes 1979, p.156

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