Joseph Mallord William Turner

Raby Castle: The East Front with Huntsmen, Horses, Hounds and Deer

1817

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 232 x 328 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D12282
Turner Bequest CLVI 13 a

Catalogue entry

The east front of the castle, including the twin turrets of the Chapel Tower, is sketched in very roughly as a backdrop to the huntsmen, horses and hounds in the foreground. The dogs are drawn as a series of disjointed limbs, tails and backs, as if in motion around the horses. Similarly, deer in the distance on the right are a mass of separate pencil strokes, a few of which indicate antlers. There is a very slight continuation to the right on folio 23 verso opposite (D40726).
The general arrangement is followed in the subsequent watercolour (currently untraced),1 engraved in 1820 for Surtees’s History of Durham (see the introduction to the tour). A detailed view of the east front appears on folio 31 verso (D12293; CLVI 19a) and was followed very closely in the watercolour. Studies of dogs, deer and horsemen and the castle (fully listed in the introduction to the present tour) were made on the same visit in the Itinerary Rhine Tour sketchbook, interspersed with Continental views made earlier in 1817. Of these Tate D12607–D12608 (Turner Bequest CLIX 51a–52) is a rough sketch of this side of the castle, and careful studies of individual dogs (D12627–D12631; CLIX 62a, 63, 63a, 64, 64a) were combined to populate the foreground of the watercolour.2
There are further hunting studies on folios 25 recto and 28 recto of the present sketchbook (D12284, D12280; CLVI 14a, 12a), and a related sheet in a private collection, discussed in the entry for folio 28 recto. 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).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.364 no.558.
2
For the various sources of the watercolour see also Rudd 2006, p.47.

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