Joseph Mallord William Turner

Manchester, Houses and Church Tower


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 59 × 96 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXV 37

Catalogue entry

This church tower, seen above factory buildings, was sketched from (or from nearby) Blackfriar’s Bridge over the River Irwell at Manchester. It may be visible in some of the other sketches that Turner made at this point in the city (see folio 34 verso; D25703), and can be seen in an engraving by James Parry, Black Friar’s Bridge, Manchester, 1821 (Manchester City Art Galleries) where a church tower with a steeple can also be seen in the distance.1 By comparison with an engraving in Joseph Aston’s A Picture of Manchester, this church may be St Mary’s Church, between Deansgate and the River Irwell, making this a view looking south.2
For a full list of Turner’s sketches at Manchester, see folio 34 (D25702).

Thomas Ardill
September 2011

Another almost identical composition by William Westall was engraved by Edward Finden and published by Charles Tilt for Great Britain Illustrated, 1830.
Joseph Aston, A Picture of Manchester, third edition, Manchester 1826, p.88 reproduced as ‘Saint Mary’s Church.’

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