Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lichfield Cathedral from the South; Solihull, with St Alphege’s Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 30 a

Catalogue entry

At the centre left, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, is a continuation from the view of Lichfield Cathedral on folio 31 recto opposite (D22379), seen to the north across Minster Pool with the gables of houses in the Close below, obscuring the lower part of the cathedral. The view is now partly screened by trees on the far bank. This section shows the profile of the Lady Chapel at the east end, with a detail of the elaborate tracery of its windows above.
There are other Lichfield views on folios 31 verso, 32 recto and 33 recto and verso (D22380, D22381, D22383, D22384); see also the contemporary Kenilworth sketchbook, under Tate D22068 (Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 50a).
Drawn towards the outer edge with the page turned vertically, is a small sketch of rising wooded ground with a church spire on the skyline. Turner’s inscription identifies the subject as Solihull, formerly in Warwickshire but now in the West Midlands, nine miles south-east of the centre of Birmingham. The church is St Alphege’s, but the viewpoint is difficult to establish owing to much later development; it may be in the vicinity of the Warwick road, looking west from the valley of the River Blythe.
Technical notes:
The recto (D22377) and verso of this leaf are affected by the extensive pale brown, mottled staining which extends throughout the subsequent gathering (folios 31–42; D22379–D22402) and also folio 43 (D22403, D22404), as discussed in the Technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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