Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Michael’s Church and Linlithgow Palace from the Southeast

1818

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13656
Turner Bequest CLXVII 41 a

Catalogue entry

Continued from folio 44 (D13657; CLXVII 42) is a sketch of St Michael’s Church, Linlithgow from the south-east. On the present page is the foreshortened south side of the church with the impressive crown spire – similar in design to the spire of St Giles’s Cathedral in Edinburgh (see Scotch Lakes sketchbook, 1801, Tate D02942–D02943; Turner Bequest LVI 13a–14, and compare to St Giles’s, folio 40 in this sketchbook; Tate D13649; Turner Bequest CLXVII 38). The spire had been damaged in a storm in 1768 when it lost its weathercock, and two years after Turner made this sketch it was found to be in danger of collapse and was removed in 1821 – the year that Turner made his watercolour of Linlithgow Palace (Manchester City Art Galleries),1 based on sketches from this tour. The church now has a modern aluminium crown, erected in 1964. The sketch continues on folio 44 where the apse at the east of the church is shown along with the eastern façade of Linlithgow Palace.
There is a blue ink stain (matching the colour of Finberg’s blue ink inscription) at the centre top of the page which has bled through from the other side of the page.

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1068.

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