Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketch for a ‘Rivers of England’ Series Drawing of Durham Cathedral


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Support: 169 × 244 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 406

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This sketch bears an extremely close resemblance to the 'England and Wales' series representation of Durham Cathedral (National Gallery of Scotland), dating from 1836. However, its size suggests that it was created in connection with the 'Rivers of England' engraving scheme, and thus around 1824. But the artist did not develop the image any further at that time, and so it seems likely that he finally elaborated it for the 'England and Wales' series about twelve or so years after he had first tested it here.

Gallery label, August 2004

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