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 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this slight sketch shows the interior of Kenilworth Castle’s Great Hall, with the archway leading to the Saintlowe Tower on the main floor level beside a deeply recessed window, with the blank arcade of the once-vaulted cellars below. Turner’s inscription ‘wall’ may be a reminder that the sky beyond the window is obscured from this angle by the tower beyond. There is a wider view of this side of the hall on the recto (D22040).
On the left is a slight continuation from the view of the Great Tower on folio 36 recto opposite (D22042). 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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