Joseph Mallord William Turner

Kenilworth Castle: The Interior of the Great Hall


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 35

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this is a view of the west side of the interior of Kenilworth Castle’s Great Hall. There is a fireplace at the centre, with the blank arcade of the once-vaulted cellars below. Towards the left on the main level is the archway leading to the Saintlowe Tower, from which Turner drew a view looking across the hall in the opposite direction on folio 34 recto (D22038). There is another view of this archway on the verso of the present page (D22041).
The westward prospect of the castle on folio 34 verso opposite (D22039) continues a little way onto the present page, where trees frame the view. At the bottom right is a slight plan or diagram of part of the castle, which continues opposite.
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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