Joseph Mallord William Turner

Norham Castle, on the River Tweed


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On loan

Turner Contemporary (Margate, UK): JMW Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 156 × 216 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVIII O

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When he revisited the castle in 1831 Turner is reported to have said, 'I made a drawing or painting of Norham several years since. It took, and from that day to this I have had as much to do as my hands could execute.' In all his depictions the castle is seen at dawn, its dark form given emphasis by the rising sun beyond, an effect which must have been one of Turner's chief joys in repeating the subject so often. This watercolour was executed in the early 1820s for a group of views of the Rivers of England by which time he had already included a similar view in his Liber Studiorum.

Gallery label, September 2004

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