Joseph Mallord William Turner

Raby Castle and Park from the North


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 232 × 328 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLVI 23 a

Catalogue entry

The composition continues opposite on folio 20 verso (D12301; CLVI 24), where the castle itself appears. The overall view is similar to that on folios 19 recto, 18 recto and 17 verso (D12278, D12296, D12297; CLVI 11a, 21a–22), but from a lower elevation, slightly to the west. In the trees towards the bottom right are the castellated North Lodge gatehouses on the Bishop Auckland-Barnard Castle road, in line with the tower of St Mary’s Church, Staindrop to the south.
At about the centre of the original full width of the page (see technical note below) are tentative vertical pencil strokes towards the top and bottom edges, serving to frame the castle at the centre of the composition, as in the painting Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1818 (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore),1 where the overall composition is taken from folios 18 recto–17 verso.2
As now bound and foliated, sketches of the castle and its surroundings fill most of the second half of the sketchbook, from folio 17 recto (D12298; CLVI 22a) to folio 32 recto (D12309; CLVI 28).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.101–2 no.136, pl.142 (colour).
As noted in Butlin and Joll 1984, p.101.
Technical notes:
As in the part of the panorama including the castle opposite, watercolour has been applied to the band of trees in the middle distance – whether on the spot or later is difficult to determine. The colours are soft tones of grey-green, yellow or ochre, and red or pink. The touches peter out towards the centre of the sheet, just beyond the trunk of the tree in the foreground. For a discussion of this use of colour, see the entry for D12301.
The drawing has been trimmed for mounting and display at the left without the use of a straight edge, the usual width of pages in this sketchbook being 328 mm. The rough blue arrow and vertical line half-way down the edge presumably indicates the limits of the composition exposed when mounted.

Matthew Imms
February 2010

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