Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rievaulx Abbey from Rievaulx Bridge on the River Rye


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 75 a

Catalogue entry

Rievaulx Abbey is seen to the north-north-east up the River Rye from Rievaulx Bridge. The view is now largely obscured by trees, but the bridge survives much as shown here. There is a study of the abbey and Ryedale on folio 24 recto (D09853; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 55), under which other views are discussed, including a watercolour (Tate N05615) partly based on the present sketch.

In terms of its present foliation, this drawing was made with the sketchbook inverted.
Technical notes:
The recto (D09876; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 75) was one of eight drawings from this sketchbook lent to Oxford University in the nineteenth century (for the others see the sketchbook’s Introduction). Each has a large pencil number inscribed on the back which presumably relates to this loan, although they do not tally with the Oxford catalogue numbers; there is dark staining all over this side from when it was stuck down to display the recto. In this case the number is evidently ‘119’ (rather than ‘611’ if read the other way up) by comparison with the others, for example ‘118’ on folio 17 verso (D09879; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 76a).

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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