Joseph Mallord William Turner

Norham Castle, with a Watermill in the Foreground


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 209 × 273 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXVII U

Display caption

This is one of two sketches Turner made of Norham Castle in the summer of 1797, one of the most northerly points on his tour. The other view (still in the 'North of England' sketchbook, from which this leaf was taken) shows both banks of the River Tweed, and served as the basis for many watercolours and paintings of Norham, including those in this exhibition. Turner's viewpoint in this sketch, however, is much closer to the castle, lying adjacent to a mill building sited directly below the castle walls.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

The most important of Turner’s drawings of Norham on this tour is the relatively slight one he made in his North of England sketchbook (Tate D00966; Turner Bequest XXXIV 57). This was to become the basis for a sequence of finished views for both exhibition and engraving, executed at different junctures throughout his career. This closer view records the architecture of the ruined castle keep in considerable detail, little of which appears in the finished works, but which must nevertheless have been of value to Turner in helping him to understand the place he was celebrating.
Technical notes:
The top and right-hand edges of the sheet are irregular. There is a horizontal fold about 45 mm from the top.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


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