Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lancaster from the Aqueduct


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 35 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch records the view from the south-east end of Lancaster Aqueduct, looking down the River Lune to Thomas Harrison’s ‘new’ Bridge with St John’s Church over, and the church and castle beyond. Turner sketched similar views looking over the aqueduct on folios 9 verso–10 recto (D11585, D11583; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 36, 35) and from nearer to the bridge on folios 8 verso–9 recto (D11590, D11586; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 38a, 36a). The present writer has dated these sketches to Wednesday 7 August 1816.
The present sketch provided the basis of a studio watercolour of Lancaster from the Aqueduct Bridge (National Galleries and Museums on Merseyside, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight), usually dated to c.1825.1 This was presumably conceived as an illustration to Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s proposed seven-volume General History of the County of York (see sketchbook introduction), but was not engraved for it as a result of the curtailment of that work. The finished watercolour was subsequently engraved by Robert Wallis in 1827 for Turner’s later series of Picturesque Views in England and Wales.

David Hill
May 2009

Wilton 1979, p.391 no.786.

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