Joseph Mallord William Turner

Orford Castle and St Bartholomew’s Church, Orford


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCIX 88

Catalogue entry

These carefully rendered studies depict the two principal monuments at the village of Orford on the Suffolk North Sea coast. Orford Castle’s mighty polygonal keep is rendered at the uppermost register. It was built between 1165 and 1173 by King Henry II to consolidate his power in the region. At centre and at rear are drawings of St Bartholomew’s Church and the ruins of the first Norman church which surround it to this day (see Tate D18306; Turner Bequest CCIX 87a). Turner has also jotted some small details of the tracery and mouldings which decorate St Bartholomew’s.
For other sketches of Orford see Tate D18304–D18306, D18308–D18309; Turner Bequest CCIX 86a–87a, 88a–89. The sketches are associated with a vignette watercolour of Orford Haven produced in around 1827 for the East Coast series (see general introduction) and the highly finished watercolour Orford, Suffolk of the same date intended for the England and Wales print publication project.1

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2015

Wilton 1979, p.393 no.796 and Krause 1997, p.162 no.49.

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