Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ludlow Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 351 × 518 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 55

Catalogue entry

This colour study has been related by Eric Shanes to the watercolour Ludlow Castle of about 1829–30 (private collection),1 engraved in 1831 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04568, T04569).2 Turner made a pencil drawing of the Shropshire castle, seen from the north-east across the River Teme, in the 1798 Hereford Court sketchbook (Tate D01317; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 63), and there is a muted, quite detailed colour study made soon afterwards (Tate D01911; Turner Bequest XLIV i).3
Here, the composition is much simplified, with a grey silhouette on the skyline, a hint of water in the valley, and roughly indicated trees to the right, corresponding with the rather Italianate ones in the England and Wales watercolour. Another, relatively ethereal Ludlow colour study is Tate D25171 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 49).
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.396 no.825.
Shanes 1997, pp.95, 104.
As noted ibid., p.95.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘AB 92 P | O’ top left, upside down; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram above ‘CCLXIII – 55’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII. 55’ bottom right.
The ‘AB’ number corresponds with the endorsement on one of the parcels of works sorted by John Ruskin during his survey of the Turner Bequest, in this case classified by him as ‘Colour effects. Valueless’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.814.

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