Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lindisfarne: The Interior of the Ruins of the Priory Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 210 × 270 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXIV 54

Catalogue entry

The subject is drawn with the page turned horizontally. With its uncompromising four-square view of the north arcade of the nave at Lindisfarne, it became the basis of the Liber Studiorum plate for which Turner’s watercolour drawing is Tate D08115 (Turner Bequest CXVI N). On account of this connection with a famous and widely dispersed image, John Ruskin selected the drawing for display and it has suffered as a consequence from exposure to light. For other studies of the Romanesque masonry at Lindisfarne see under folio 53 recto (D00958; Turner Bequest XXXIV 50).
It seems likely that the Liber plate of this subject, together perhaps with that of the Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey (see under Tate D08142; Turner Bequest CXVII O), were in John Sell Cotman’s mind when he drew in pencil and brown wash an arcade at St Georges, Boscherville, Normandy, in 1818, intended for his Architectural Antiquities of Normandy (1822), but not published there (Norwich Castle Museum).1
See Miklos Rajnai and Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, John Sell Cotman: Drawings of Normandy in Norwich Castle Museum, Norwich 1975, pp.85–7 no.39, pl.18.
Technical notes:
The paper is discoloured from exposure during prolonged display.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

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