Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Agatha’s Church and Abbey, Easby, from the South-East, Richmond in the Distance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 206 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVII 21

Catalogue entry

Here Turner records St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby from the south-east, near Easby Hall, with the small church of St Agatha in the foreground, and the keep of Richmond Castle in the centre distance. The sketch served as the basis of a watercolour study or ‘colour-beginning’ (Tate D25153; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 31). Turner sketched a similar view in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11238; Turner Bequest CXLV 119), which accompanied him on the same tour.
St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, stands on the north bank of the River Swale about three quarters of a mile downstream (east) of Richmond. It was founded by Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle, in 1155 for a community of Premonstratensian canons and was suppressed in 1536. The extensive and substantial remains are in the care of English Heritage and open to the public.

David Hill
February 2009

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