Joseph Mallord William Turner

Raby Castle: The West Front


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 18

Catalogue entry

In one of Turner’s most detailed views of Raby, the castle is seen from the west. From left to right the main features are the detached gateway, Clifford’s Tower, one of the watch towers, the elaborate Nevill(e) Gateway and Joan’s Tower. The drawing continues on folio 31 recto opposite (D12292; Turner Bequest CLVI 19), with a view of the trees on the south side of the castle.
Below the gateway, Turner has drawn separate details of the moulding over the gateway, and the three carved shields of the Nevill(e) family, St George, and the Latymer family (left to right), each surrounded by the ribbon of the Order of the Garter.1 Comparison with the present west front shows that Turner recorded several features which have since been altered: various windows have been enlarged and their arched hood-moulds removed; an ironwork balcony set on prominent brackets over the gateway arch has been replaced with a band of machicolation and castellation; and the rectangular window below the three shields has been replaced by a two-light Gothic design. The trees along the terrace have gone.
The numbering of this page and its recto (D12291; CLVI 18a) has been confused, probably due to the apparently fragmentary state of the sketchbook when Finberg catalogued it. His entry for page ‘18a’ clearly refers to the present drawing, although it has been stamped ‘18’. 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

Raby Castle: Seat of the Lord Barnard, Derby 1976, pp.6–7.

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